Vassal, G; Boland, I; Terrier-Lacombe, M J; Watson, Amanda J; Margison, Geoffrey P; Vénuat, A M; Morizet, J; Parker, F; Lacroix, C; Lellouch-Tubiana, A; et al. (1998-02)
Fotemustine is a chloroethylnitrosourea with antitumor activity in disseminated melanoma and adult primary brain tumors. Because new drugs are required for the treatment of medulloblastoma in children, we evaluated the preclinical antitumor activity of fotemustine in four s.c. medulloblastoma xenografts, in comparison with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU). Both drugs were administered as a single i.p. injection to nude mice bearing advanced-stage tumor. Fotemustine displayed significant antitumor activity in three of four medulloblastoma xenografts; two, IGRM34 and IGRM57, were highly sensitive, with 37 and 100% tumor-free survivors, respectively, more than 120 days after treatment at the highest nontoxic dose (50 mg/kg). Fotemustine was also highly active in a malignant glioma xenograft (IGRG88; five of six tumor-free survivors on day 177). Fotemustine proved to be significantly more active than BCNU in IGRM34 and the glioma xenograft IGRG88. The DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (ATase) was detected in all tumor xenografts, ranging in activity from 6 to 892 fmol/mg protein. The high in vivo sensitivity to fotemustine and BCNU observed in three xenografts was clearly associated with a low ATase activity (> 20 fmol/mg), whereas the two poorly sensitive or refractory medulloblastoma xenografts showed high ATase activity (> 500 fmol/mg). Alkylpurine-DNA N-glycosylase activity was detected in all tumor xenografts but at levels ranging only from 513 to 1105 fmol/mg/h; no consistent relationship was found between alkylpurine-DNA N-glycosylase activity and the in vivo sensitivity to the two chloroethylnitrosoureas. The improved activity and tolerance of fotemustine in comparison with BCNU in pediatric medulloblastoma xenografts strongly support the clinical development of this agent in children with brain tumors, in which ATase should be examined as a potential prognostic indicator.
Scott, S D; Marples, B; Hendry, Jolyon H; Lashford, Linda S; Embleton, M J; Hunter, Robin D; Howell, Anthony; Margison, Geoffrey P (2000-07)
Ionising radiation induces the expression of a number of radiation-responsive genes and there is current interest in exploiting this to regulate the expression of exogenous therapeutic genes in gene therapy strategies for cancer. However, the radiation-responsive promoters used in these approaches are often associated with low and transient levels of therapeutic gene expression. We describe here a novel radiation-triggered molecular switching device based on promoter elements from the radiation-responsive Egr-1 gene and the cre-LoxP site-specific recombination system of the P1 bacteriophage. Using this system, a single, minimally toxic dose of radiation induced cre-mediated excision of a lox-P flanked stop cassette in a silenced expression vector and this resulted in amplified levels of CMV-promoter-driven expression of the exogenous tumour-sensitising gene, HSV-tk. This strategy could be used in combination with targeted delivery and tumour-specific promoters to elicit the tumour-targeted and prolonged expression of a variety of tumour-sensitising genes and provide an unprecedented level of control and tumour selectivity.
Jelínek, Jaroslav; Fairbairn, Leslie J; Dexter, T Michael; Rafferty, Joseph A; Stocking, C; Ostertag, W; Margison, Geoffrey P (1996-03-01)
A human O6-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase (ATase) cDNA-containing retrovirus was used to infect murine long-term primary bone marrow cultures. High levels of ATase expression were obtained, and colony-forming cells of the granulocyte-macrophage lineage from the cultures transduced with the human ATase retrovirus were three times more resistant to the alkylating agent, N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), than control cultures. Furthermore, expression of the human ATase protected long-term hematopoiesis, measured as the output of progenitor cells to the nonadherent fraction of the culture, against the cytotoxic effects of repeated exposures to MNU. These results clearly show that a human ATase cDNA-containing retrovirus can be used to infect long-term primary bone marrow cultures and that this attenuates their sensitivity to nitrosoureas.
McElhinney, R S; Donnelly, Dorothy J; McCormick, J E; Kelly, Jane; Watson, Amanda J; Rafferty, Joseph A; Elder, Rhoderick H; Middleton, Mark R; Willington, Mark; McMurry, T Brian H; et al. (1998-12-17)
A number of novel guanine derivatives containing heterocyclic moieties at the O6-position have been synthesized using a purine quaternary salt which reacts with alkoxides under mild conditions. Initially O6-substituents were investigated in which the benzene ring of the known agent, O6-benzylguanine, was replaced by unsubstituted heterocyclic rings. The ability of these agents to inactivate the DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (ATase), both as pure recombinant protein and in the human lymphoblastoid cell line Raji, has been compared with that of O6-benzylguanine. The present paper focuses on O6-substituents with basic rings, and under standard conditions several of them proved more effective than benzyl for inactivation of both recombinant and Raji ATase. Among the pyridine derivatives, the 2-picolyl compound 7 is not very active in contrast to the 3- and 4-picolyl compounds, and this influenced our choice of isomers of other basic ring systems for study. Since halogen substitution in the thiophene ring considerably increased the activity (17 versus 6), similar modifications in the pyridine series were examined. The more polar O6-substituents in this study are on the whole compatible with the stereochemical requirements of the ATase protein, and their pharmacological properties may be valuable in subsequent in vivo investigations, particularly the thenyl (6), 5-thiazolylmethyl (12), 5-bromothenyl (17), and 2-chloro-4-picolyl (21) derivatives.
Brown, R; Hirst, G L; Gallagher, W M; McIlwrath, A J; Margison, Geoffrey P; Van der Zee, A G; Anthoney, D A (1997-07-03)
Loss of expression of the hMLH1 and hPMS2 subunits of the MutL alpha-mismatch repair complex is a frequent event (9/10) in independent cisplatin resistant derivatives of a human ovarian carcinoma cell line. However, only hMLH1 mRNA is decreased in these MutL alpha-deficient lines. No alterations in the levels of the hMSH2 and hMSH6 (GTBP) subunits of the MutS alpha-complex are observed. An increase in the proportion of ovarian tumours negative for the hMLH1 subunit is observed in samples taken at second look laparotomy after chemotherapy (36%: 4/11), compared to untreated tumours (10%: 4/39). No significant difference is observed for hMSH2, hMSH6 or hPMS2. Furthermore, cisplatin and doxorubicin-resistant ovarian lines deficient in hMLH1 expression are cross-resistant to 6-thioguanine and the methylating agent N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). Depletion of O6-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase (ATase) activity confers only limited increased sensitivity to MNU. Thus the mismatch repair deficient lines retain DNA damage tolerance even after ATase depletion. The hMLH1 deficient lines also lose ability to engage G1 and G2 cell cycle arrest after cisplatin damage. Together these data suggest that loss of hMLH1 expression may be a high frequency event following exposure of ovarian tumour cells to cisplatin and may be critically involved in the development of drug resistance. Thus, the hMLH1 status of these cells appears to be highly correlated with the ability to engage cell death and cell cycle arrest after DNA damage induced by cisplatin.
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