Cancer research

Inhibition of metastasis of tumor cells overexpressing thymidine phosphorylase by 2-deoxy-L-ribose.

PMID 14996742


Thymidine phosphorylase (TP) catalyzes the reversible conversion of thymidine to thymine, thereby generating 2-deoxy-D-ribose-1-phosphate, which upon dephosphorylation forms 2-deoxy-D-ribose (D-dRib), a degradation product of thymidine. We have previously shown that D-dRib promotes angiogenesis and chemotaxis of endothelial cells and also confers resistance to hypoxia-induced apoptosis in some cancer cell lines. 2-Deoxy-L-ribose (L-dRib), a stereoisomer of D-dRib, can inhibit D-dRib anti-apoptotic effects and suppressed the growth of KB cells overexpressing TP (KB/TP cells) transplanted into nude mice. In this study, we examined the ability of L-dRib to suppress metastasis of KB/TP cells using two different models of metastasis. The antimetastatic effect of L-dRib was first investigated in a liver-metastasis model in nude mice inoculated with KB/TP cells. Oral administration of L-dRib for 28 days at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day significantly reduced the number of metastatic nodules in the liver and suppressed angiogenesis and enhanced apoptosis in KB/TP metastatic nodules. Next, we compared the ability of L-dRib and tegafur alone or in combination to decrease the number of metastatic nodules in organs in the abdominal cavity in nude mice receiving s.c. of KB/TP cells into their backs. L-dRib (20 mg/kg/day) was significantly (P < 0.05) more efficient than tegafur (100 mg/kg/day) in decreasing the number of metastatic nodules in organs in the abdominal cavity. By in vitro invasion assay, L-dRib also reduced the number of invading KB/TP cells. L-dRib anti-invasive activity may be mediated by its ability to suppress the enhancing effect of TP and D-dRib on both mRNA and protein expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and interleukin-8 in cultured KB cells. These findings suggest that L-dRib may be useful in a clinical setting for the suppression of metastasis of tumor cells expressing TP.

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2-Deoxy-L-ribonic acid lithium salt, ≥95.0% (TLC)
C5H10O5 · xLi+
2-Deoxy-L-ribose, ≥97.0% (TLC)