Antitumor activity of deoxyribonucleic acid fraction from Mycobacterium bovis BCG. I. Isolation, physicochemical characterization, and antitumor activity

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984 Apr;72(4):955-62.


A fraction extracted from Mycobacterium bovis strain BCG, which was composed of 70.0% DNA, 28.0% RNA, 1.3% protein, 0.20% glucose, and 0.1% lipid and of no detectable amounts of cell wall components such as alpha, epsilon-diaminopimelic acid and hexosamine, was found to possess strong antitumor activity. Repeated intralesional injection of this fraction, designated MY-1, without attachment to oil or a single intralesional injection of MY-1 emulsified in mineral oil caused the IMC carcinoma of CDF1 mice and line 10 tumor of strain 2 guinea pigs to regress and/or prevented metastasis very effectively. MY-1 after digestion with RNase, which contained 97.0% single-stranded DNA with a guanine-cytosine content of 69.8%, was more effective than undigested MY-1 against IMC and line 10 tumor, while MY-1 digested with DNase, which contained 97.0% RNA, had reduced activity, suggesting that the DNA from BCG possessed strong antitumor activity under certain conditions. Details of the extraction procedures and physicochemical characterization of MY-1 were also described.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • BCG Vaccine / analysis*
  • BCG Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Base Composition
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / therapeutic use
  • Deoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy*
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Mice
  • Molecular Weight
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • RNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • BCG Vaccine
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • Ribonucleases