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Neurosurgery. 1997 Aug;41(2):434-40; discussion 440-1.

Application of antisense ribonucleic acid complementary to O6-methylguanine-deoxyribonucleic acid methyltransferase messenger ribonucleic acid for therapy of malignant gliomas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, National Cancer Center Hospital, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.



A derivative of chloroethylnitrosoureas, 1-(4-amino-2-methyl-5-pyrimidinyl)methyl-3-(2-chloroethyl)-3-nitrosourea (ACNU), is a drug of choice for the chemotherapy of human malignant brain tumors. However, the cytocidal effect of ACNU is effectively repressed through repair of ACNU-mediated deoxyribonucleic acid lesions by O6-methylguanine-deoxyribonucleic acid methyltransferase (MGMT). Because a variety of human tumors, including brain tumors, contain high levels of MGMT activity, we investigated the effect of antisense ribonucleic acid (RNA) complementary to MGMT messenger RNA on ACNU resistance in tumor cells.


We established a stable ACNU-resistant clone, C6AR, from the rat glioma cell line C6 exposed to a stepwise increasing concentration of ACNU. We transfected a plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid-encoding antisense MGMT RNA under the control of the human metallothionein promoter into C6AR cells and determined the effect of the antisense RNA on ACNU resistance of tumor cells by a colony-forming efficiency assay.


C6AR cells expressed abundant MGMT messenger RNA, although the transcription level of the MGMT gene in parental C6 cells was below the lower limits of detection under the same assay conditions. ACNU resistance of C6AR cells was significantly repressed by transfected gene-dependent antisense MGMT RNA expression that resulted in decreased survival of the tumor cells.


ACNU resistance resulting from the expression of MGMT in rat glioma cells is significantly overcome by the expression of antisense MGMT RNA. This result suggests that the antisense MGMT RNA system might be a useful strategy for overcoming ACNU resistance in the treatment of intractable malignant gliomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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