Interrelationship between O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase activity and susceptibility to chloroethylnitrosoureas in several glioma cell lines

J Neurooncol. 1993 Jul;17(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01054267.


In order to study the dynamic relationship in glioma cells between O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) activity and resistance to the cytotoxic effect of chloroethylnitrosoureas (CENUs), we investigated the changes in sensitivity to 1-(4-amino-2-methyl-5-pyrimidinyl)methyl-3-(2-chloroethyl)-3-nitrosourea hydrochloride (ACNU) after modulation of AGT activity. In ACNU-resistant rat glioma cell lines (9LR1, 9LR3, and 9LR12) and a human glioma cell (HNG-1), O6-methylguanine enhanced cytotoxicity to ACNU following a depletion of AGT activity. But no enhancement of cytotoxicity was seen in an ACNU-sensitive rat glioma cell line (9L). In the 9L and 9LR12 cells, equivalently sublethal doses of ACNU similarly depleted AGT activity but the regeneration rates of this repair protein were different. In the case of a 7-day pretreatment with human recombinant interferon-beta (HuIFN-beta), although it could modulate AGT activity in HNG-1 cells, no definite influence on cellular sensitivity to CENUs was observed. However, a 50-day pretreatment with HuIFN-beta conferred resistance to CENUs on them despite its effect to reduce AGT activity. Thus, diversity was seen in the relation between AGT activity and resistance to CENUs when AGT activity was modulated by HuIFN-beta. The results of this study suggest that AGT activity is one of factors affecting cellular sensitivity to CENUs but that alternative mechanisms of tolerance may be induced depending upon some environmental effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Resistance / physiology
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / pharmacology
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Nimustine / pharmacology*
  • Nitrosourea Compounds / pharmacology
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Nitrosourea Compounds
  • Nimustine
  • Interferon-beta
  • Methyltransferases
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase
  • ranimustine