Effect of Uridine on Response of 5-Azacytidine-resistant Human Leukemic Cells to Inhibitors of de Novo Pyrimidine Synthesis

S. Grant, K. Bhalla, M. Gleyzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A uridine-cytidine kinase-deficient human promyelocytic leukemic subline (HL-60-5-aza-Cyd) has been isolated which is highly resistant to the antileukemic agent 5-azacytidine. Resistant cells exposed to 10-5 M 5-azacytidine for 2 hr exhibit a marked reduction in both the total intracellular accumulation of 5-azacytidine (11.9 versus 156.0 pmol/106 cells) as well as its incorporation into RNA (3.1 versus 43.4 pmol/μg D-ribose) compared to the parent line. These biochemical changes are associated with nearly a 100-fold decrease in sensitivity to the growth inhibitory effects of 5-azacytidine (concentration of drug associated with a 50% reduction in cell growth, 3.5 x 10-5 versus 5.0 x 10-7 M). 5-Azacytidine-resistant cells exhibit cross-resistance to 3-deazauridine, 6-azauridine, and 5-fluorouridine, but not to 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine, 2'-deoxyazacytidine, or 5-aza-1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine. Coadministration of 50 μM uridine prevented depletion of pyrimidine nucleoside triphosphates and inhibition of colony formation of HL-60 cells exposed to 3 mM N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate) or 5 x 10-6 M pyrazofurin but was not capable of protecting HL-60-5-azacytidine under the same conditions. This uridine concentration was also able to restore control colony formation to normal human bone marrow progenitor cells (granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming units) exposed to de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic blockade. These in vitro studies suggest that 5-azacytidine resistant cells lacking the pyrimidine salvage pathway enzyme uridine-cytidine kinase may be selectively vulnerable to a regimen using pyrimidine antagonists administered in conjunction with the naturally occurring nucleoside uridine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5505-5510
Number of pages6
JournalCancer research
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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