Modulation of mammalian O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase in vivo by O6-benzylguanine and its effect on the sensitivity of a human glioma tumor to 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea

Cancer Commun. 1990;2(11):371-7. doi: 10.3727/095535490820873985.


Experiments were carried out in mice and hamsters to determine whether the activity of the DNA repair protein, O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase, in tissues and tumors was reduced by treatment with O6-benzylguanine in vivo. Following intraperitoneal injection of O6-benzylguanine, there was a rapid and complete loss of alkyltransferase activity in both livers and kidneys of mice and hamsters. The activity in mouse tissues was slowly restored, reaching pretreatment activities at 16 hr and 72 hr after injection of O6-benzylguanine at 10 mg/kg or 126 mg/kg, respectively. The activity in hamster liver was restored at a significantly lower rate, reaching less than 20% pretreatment activity 72 hr after treatment with 100 mg/kg of O6-benzylguanine. The efficient reduction of alkyltransferase activity by O6-benzylguanine was in sharp contrast to the inability of O6-methylguanine to bring about similar reductions. Activities dropped to about 55% of pretreatment activities in several mouse organs 4 hr after treatment with 126 mg/kg of O6-methylguanine compared to a more than 90% reduction in activity in animals after treatment with O6-benzylguanine. The sensitivity of SF767 cells to meCCNU after treatment with O6-benzylguanine was increased substantially. Furthermore, treatment of nude mice carrying SF767 tumor with 60 mg/kg of O6-benzylguanine prior to either 7.5 or 15 mg/kg of meCCNU led to significant inhibition of tumor growth. These studies indicate that O6-benzylguanine is a suitable compound for use in experiments to examine the role of the alkyltransferase protein in vivo in counteracting the effects of alkylating agents.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Cricetinae
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / enzymology
  • Guanine / administration & dosage
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / enzymology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase
  • Semustine / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tissue Extracts / metabolism
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Tissue Extracts
  • O(6)-benzylguanine
  • Semustine
  • Guanine
  • Methyltransferases
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase