Interferon augments the cytotoxicity of hydroxyurea without enhancing its activity against the M2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase: Effects in wild-type and resistant human colon cancer cells

Scott Wadler, Robert Horowitz, Jie Rao, Xun Mao, Kathie Schlesinger, Edward L. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of prolonged exposure to the ribonucleotide reductase (RR) inhibitor, hydroxyurea (HU), were assessed in the presence or absence of recombinant interferon alfa-2a (IFN) in wild-type human colon cancer cells (HT-29) and variants expressing low-level resistance to HU (R200). IFN at nontoxic concentrations decreased the IC50 of HU from 368 μM to 215 μM (P < 0.01) in wild-type cells, but not in the resistant variants. Potential cellular targets for the HU/IFN interaction were examined. In wild-type, but not resistant cells, treatment with HU at clinically achievable concentrations (1000 μM) resulted in rapid early inhibition of RR activity between 4 and 24 h after treatment with a maximal decrease of 65% at 12 h, decreases in cellular levels of dATP, dCTP and dGTP by 50-90% over the same time course, and a two- to fourfold increase in the level of mRNA for both the M1 and M2 subunits of RR, at 24, but not between 1 and 4 h, which probably represents a response to the earlier decrease in RR activity. IFN at a clinically achievable concentration (500 U/ml) failed to augment the effects of HU on RR protein, RR mRNA levels or RR enzyme activity in either the wild-type or resistant cells, suggesting that the mechanism by which IFN augments the effects of HU in the wild-type cells is independent of the effects of HU on M2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-528
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 22 1996

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Keywords

  • Colon cancer
  • Drug resistance
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Interferon alfa-2a
  • Ribonucleotide reductase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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