Evidence for a functional defect in the translocation of the methotrexate transport carrier in a methotrexate-resistant murine L1210 leukemia cell line

J. D. Schuetz, L. H. Matherly, E. H. Westin, I. D. Goldman

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66 Scopus citations


Properties of the methorexate (MTX) transport carrier were examined in a stable single-step 16-fold MTX-resistant L1210 murine leukemia cell line with unchanged dihydrofolate reductase gene copy and thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase levels and activities. MTX influx was markedly depressed due to a decrease in V(max) without a change in K(m). From this cell line a clonal variant with greater resistance to MTX was identified due solely to a further decrease in influx V(max). Trans-stimulation of MTX influx by 5-formyltetrahydrofolate was induced in parental but not resistant cells. Analysis of specific MTX surface binding demonstrated a small increase in the number of carriers in the first- and second-step resistant lines. Affinity labeling of cells with an N-hydroxysuccinimide ester derivative of [3H]MTX demonstrated carriers with comparable molecular weights in the parent and second-step transport defective lines. In two partial revertants with increased MTX sensitivity isolated from the second-step resistant lines, MTX influx was increased but surface membrane-binding sites were unchanged suggesting that recovery of transport was due to normalization of carrier function rather than an increase in the number of carriers. These studies suggest that impaired MTX transport in these lines is not due to an alteration in the association of the transport carrier with its substrate at the cell surface. Rather, resistance may be due to an alteration in the mobility of the carrier possibly associated with a protein change in the carrier itself or the cell membrane that surrounds it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9840-9847
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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