Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

The impact of p53 status on cellular sensitivity to antifolate drugs.

PMID 11448931


The impact of p53 status on cellular sensitivity to antifolate drugs has been examined in seven human cell lines (A549, MCF7, T-47D, CCRF-CEM, COR-L23, A2780, and HCT-116) and p53 nonfunctional counterparts of two of the cell lines (HCT-116/N7 and A2780/CP70). p53 status was determined by sequencing and functional assays. The sensitivities of the cell lines to growth inhibition (sulphorhodamine B assay) produced by four antifolate drugs (Alimta, methotrexate, raltitrexed, and lometrexol) were studied. There was no clear relationship between functional p53 status and sensitivity to methotrexate or lometrexol, whereas a functional p53 status was possibly associated with resistance to Alimta- and raltitrexed-induced growth inhibition. In contrast, in the two pairs of related human tumor cell lines (HCT-116 and HCT-116/N7 and A2780 and A2780/CP70) cells with functional p53 were more sensitive to Alimta- and raltitrexed-induced growth inhibition (P = 0.002). Detailed studies were performed with the A2780 cell lines, and in the parental cells sensitivity to Alimta- and raltitrexed-induced cytotoxicity (clonogenic assay) was similar to the sensitivity determined in the sulphorhodamine B assay. However, in A2780/CP70 cells, 1 microM of drug resulted in only 40-60% growth inhibition yet > or = 85% cytotoxicity. After Alimta and raltitrexed exposure for < or = 72 h, there were no differences between the A2780 and A278/CP70 cell lines in cell cycle phase distribution, absolute cell number, or the induction of apoptosis. However, the cellular protein content of the A2780/CP70 cells was 3-6-fold higher than in A2780 cells after Alimta and raltitrexed treatment, suggesting that cells without functional p53 can maintain protein synthesis in the absence of cell division (unbalanced cell growth). In conclusion, the apparent impact of functional p53 status on sensitivity to antifolate drugs may depend upon the phenotypic/genotypic background as well as the assay used to measure cellular sensitivity.

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Lometrexol hydrate, ≥95% (HPLC)
C21H25N5O6 · xH2O