We have studied the roles of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-methylene-H4PteGlu) depletion and dihydrofolate (H2PteGlu) accumulation in the inhibition of de novo thymidylate synthesis by methotrexate (MTX) in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Using both a high pressure liquid chromatography system and a modification of the 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine-5'-monophosphate radioenzymatic binding assay, we determined that the 5,10-methylene-H4PteGlu pool is 50-60% depleted in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells following exposure to 1 μm MTX for up to 21 h. Similar alterations in the 5,10-methylene-H4PteGlu pools were obtained when human promyelocytic HL-60 leukemia cells and normal human myeloid precursor cells were incubated with 1 μm MTX. The H2PteGlu pools within the MCF-7 cells increased significantly after 15 min of 1 μm MTX exposure, reaching maximal levels by 60 min. Thymidylate synthesis, as measured by labeled deoxyuridine incorporation into DNA, decreased to less than 20% of control activity within 30 min of 1 μm MTX exposure. The inhibition of thymidylate synthesis coincided temporally with the rapid intracellular accumulation of H2PteGlu, a known inhibitor of thymidylate synthase. Furthermore, inhibition of this pathway was associated in a log-linear fashion with the intracellular level of dihydrofolate. These studies provide further evidence that depletion of the thymidylate synthase substrate 5,10-methylene-H4PteGlu is inadequate to account completely for diminished thymidylate synthesis resulting from MTX treatment. Our findings suggest that acute inhibition of de novo thymidylate synthesis is a multifactorial process consisting of partial substrate depletion and direct enzymatic inhibition by H2PteGlu polyglutamates.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology