The sensitivity of human tumour cells to quinone bioreductive drugs: what role for DT-diaphorase?

Biochem Pharmacol. 1992 Aug 4;44(3):409-12. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(92)90429-m.


15 human tumour cell lines (lung, breast and colon) have been evaluated for their sensitivity to the quinone based anti-cancer drugs Mitomycin C, Porfiromycin, and EO9 (3-hydroxymethyl-5-aziridinyl-1-methyl-2-(IH-indole-4,7-dione)prop-beta- en-alpha-ol). Sensitivity has been compared with the intra-cellular levels of DT-diaphorase, an enzyme thought to be important in the reductive activation of these quinones. No correlation exists between levels of DT-diaphorase and sensitivity to Mitomycin C or Porfiromycin. However, for EO9 those cell lines showing highest levels of DT-diaphorase activity tend to be the most sensitive.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aziridines / pharmacology
  • Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Indolequinones*
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Mitomycin / pharmacology
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Porfiromycin / pharmacology
  • Quinones / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Aziridines
  • Indolequinones
  • Indoles
  • Quinones
  • Mitomycin
  • Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase
  • Porfiromycin
  • apaziquone