Characterization of a mutation in the reduced folate carrier in a transport defective L1210 murine leukemia cell line

K. E. Brigle, M. J. Spinella, E. E. Sierra, I. D. Goldman

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105 Scopus citations


This laboratory previously described an L1210 leukemia cell line (MTX(r)A) selected for resistance to methotrexate by virtue of impaired transport due to a functional defect in the translocation process. We now report on the sequence analysis of cDNAs encoding the reduced folate carrier from this line and identify a single mutation that results in the substitution of a proline for an alanine in a highly conserved transmembrane region of the protein. Transfection of the parental reduced folate carrier into MTX(r)A cells resulted in a cell line which exhibited a complete restoration of methotrexate uptake and an enhanced sensitivity to methotrexate. Northern analysis and specific [3H]MTX cell surface binding indicated that expression of the reduced folate carrier was elevated ~5-fold in the transfectant compared to parental and MTX(r)A cells. The MTX influx properties of the transfectant cell line were identical to those of the well characterized reduced folate carrier from parental L1210 cells in terms of: 1) patterns of sensitivity to competing folates, 2) sensitivity to the organic anion sulfobromophthalein, 3) lack of energy dependence, and 4) capacity for trans- stimulation. We also provide new data which suggests that the nucleotide sequence 5' of the predicted ATG initiation codon may encode additional protein information in the form of a leader sequence. Finally, we demonstrate that the MTX(r)A line has both the mutant and the parental reduced folate carrier alleles but that expression appears to be restricted to the mutant allele. Thus, the methotrexate transport phenotype and resultant drug resistance in this cell line result from genetic/regulatory events at both alleles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22974-22979
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number39
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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