O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase activity in human malignant melanoma

J Dermatol Sci. 1992 Jul;4(1):6-10. doi: 10.1016/0923-1811(92)90049-h.


O6-alkylguanine has been known to be the major lesion in DNA for the cytotoxicity of alkylating agents and it is repaired by O6-Alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (O6-AGT). To examine the relation of O6-AGT to the clinical characteristics in malignant melanoma (MM), O6-AGT activity in 13 human MM tissues was measured. The activity in tumor tissues varied widely from 0 to 0.11 pmol/mg protein. The activity in normal skin tissues was lower and less variable than in the tumors. The activity was not related to the tumor size or clinical stage of melanomas, but it was higher in tumors after chemotherapy with alkylating agents than in those without chemotherapy. In metastatic tissues, in primary tumors of the patients with metastases and in tumors of the patients with bad prognosis, the activity was also high. Two of the tumors, having the highest O6-AGT activity, were both transplantable to nude mice. These results suggest two possibilities; melanomas exposed to the alkylating agents may change to have high O6-AGT activity, followed by the resistance to such agents, or O6-AGT in melanomas may be originally diverse. O6-AGT activity in the tumour tissue may represent the effect of alkylating agents and can be used in selecting the methods of therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alkylating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / enzymology*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / enzymology*


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Methyltransferases
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase