Cancer research

Collateral sensitivity of human melanoma multidrug-resistant variants to the polyamine analogue, N1,N11-diethylnorspermine.

PMID 7954423


Certain N-alkylated analogues of the natural polyamine spermine, such as N1,N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSPM), rapidly deplete intracellular polyamine pools by down-regulating the biosynthetic enzymes, ornithine decarboxylase and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase, and by potently up-regulating the polyamine catabolizing enzyme, spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase. On the basis of previously reported antitumor activity in human tumor xenograft model systems, DENSPM is currently undergoing Phase I clinical trials against human melanoma and other solid tumors. The antiproliferative activity of this analogue against the multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype was examined in three MDR sublines of human melanoma RPMI-7932 cells, which were shown to be 2-to 10-fold resistant to classical MDR agents. These MDR lines had been separately derived using different selecting agents (Lemontt et al., Cancer Res., 48: 6344-6353, 1988). Subline functional resistance due to P-glycoprotein was confirmed by decreased retention of rhodamine 123 relative to parent cells as detected by flow cytometry. Although the three sublines were 2- to 10-fold less sensitive than the parent line to classical MDR-type agents, they were found in dose-response studies to be significantly more sensitive to DENSPM than the parent line. In addition, they showed a distinct cytotoxic response after a 48-h treatment with 10 microM DENSPM, which was not apparent in the parent line. Growth sensitivity of the sublines to the ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor, alpha-difluoromethylornithine, or the S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase inhibitor, CGP-48664, was found to be similar to parent cells. The ratio of the key biosynthetic enzyme activities for ornithine decarboxylase and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase was found to be 3.5- to 5-fold higher in all three sublines, due mainly to increases in the former enzyme. This imbalance produced unusually high putrescine pools. Although DENSPM down-regulation of decarboxylase activities and potent up-regulation of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase activity occurred similarly in both parent and variant lines, polyamine depletion was greater in the variant lines. Collateral sensitivity of the MDR sublines to DENSPM is partially attributable to the finding that analogue (and spermidine) uptake in the sublines was about 2-fold higher (after 2 h) than in the parent cells. The presence of disturbances in polyamine homeostasis and increased sensitivity to DENSPM in three independently selected cell line variants suggests that they may be generally associated with the MDR phenotype in human melanoma and possibly other tumor cells. The collateral sensitivity of human melanoma MDR variants to DENSPM represents a possible therapeutic indication which should be considered during the ongoing clinical evaluation of this drug.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

RPMI 7932 cell line