Previous studies have shown that the cytotoxicity of fluoropyrimidines is mediated, in large part, by inhibition of the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS). The aim of this study was to determine whether the chemosensitivity of human cancer cells to fluoropyrimidines could be increased by decreasing TS expression with antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ODNs). ODNs (18-mers) targeted at the AUG translational initiation site of TS mRNA inhibited translation in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate in vitro translation system. Treatment of human colon cancer HT-29 cells with antisense ODNs decreased TS catalytic activity in the cells in a dose-dependent manner over a short period, but the longer-term effect of the TS antisense ODN treatment was actually to increase the amount of TS in the cells and to decrease their sensitivity to 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine (FdUrd). However, when human nasopharyngeal cancer KB31 cells were transfected with a plasmid (pHaMAGRP) construct containing the TS antisense fragment (+1 to +422) under the control of a glucoseregulated promoter, the expression of both TS protein and TS catalytic activity was decreased by nearly 30% (P = 0.014), and sensitivity of these cells to FdUrd was enhanced by ~8-fold (P = 0.021). No changes in the levels of expression of TS protein or FdUrd- associated cytotoxicity were observed in control, vector-transfected cells. No change was observed in the sensitivity of transfected cells toward either cisplatin or Adriamycin. These results show that the level of expression of TS in human malignant cells can be downregulated with antisense TS RNA, and their sensitivity to fluoropyrimidines can, thereby, be increased.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|State||Published - Sep 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research