Sensitivity to 5,10-dideazatetrahydrofolate is fully conserved in a murine leukemia cell line highly resistant to methotrexate due to impaired transport mediated by the reduced folate carrier

Rongbao Zhao, Feng Gao, Solomon Babani, I. David Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

A murine leukemia cell line was identified that is highly resistant to methotrexate (MTX), due to impaired transport, but fully sensitive to 5,10-dideazatetrahydrofolate (DDATHF). A valine-to-methionine substitution at amino acid 104 in the reduced folate carrier (RFC1) explains this disparity in drug resistance. Transfection of the V104M cDNA into an RFC1-deficient cell line markedly increased DDATHF influx (32x) but only modestly increased influx of MTX and 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (4- and 6-fold, respectively). The growth inhibition or growth requirements for these folates fell by factors of 18, 2, and 4, respectively, in the transfectant. Preservation of DDATHF influx in cells with V104M RFC1 resulted in even greater preservation (60%) of the exchangeable drug level. Another major element in the preservation of DDATHF activity was the impact of the mutated carrier on cellular folate pools. For folic acid, folate pools were essentially unchanged but DDATHF polyglutamate levels decreased in lines that express the V104M carrier. However, with 5-formyltetrahydrofolate as the growth source, there was a marked decrease in folate pools in the lines carrying the mutated carrier, and DDATHF polyglutamate levels were unchanged. Hence, DDATHF activity was preserved in cells with V104M RFC1 due to (a) relative conservation of DDATHF transport, and (b) depletion of cellular THF cofactors with diminishing folate cofactor competition at folylpolyglutamate synthetase and possibly glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase. Hence, resistance to one antifolate, in this case MTX, because of a loss of RFC1 transport activity need not exclude the subsequent utility of another antifolate that uses the same carrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3304-3311
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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