Recombinant mycoplasma enzyme, arginine deiminase (rADI), has been proposed as a possible cancer treatment via arginine depletion. However, many cell lines are resistant to rADI-treatment, even though most require arginine for proliferation. We compared eight different cell lines for sensitivity in cell proliferation to the effect of either rADI or arginine deprivation. The activity of argininosuccinate synthetase (AS), the rate-limiting enzyme for converting citrulline to arginine, was also measured. Our results indicate that resistance to rADI-treatment may correlate with cellular AS activity, either constitutive or inducible, allowing cell survival by conversion of the product of the rADI reaction, i.e. citrulline to arginine.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.