Elevation of Dihydrofolate Reductase, Thymidylate Synthetase, and Thymidine Kinase in Cultured Mammalian Cells after Exposure to Folate Antagonists Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Aspartic Acid
  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Methyltransferases
  • Quinazolines
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase
  • Thymidine Kinase
  • Thymidylate Synthase
  • Triazines


  • Roswell Park Memorial Institute 4265 human lymphoblasts were grown with three dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors: a 2,4-diaminopteridine, methotrexate; a 2,4-diaminoquinazoline, chlorasquin; and, a 2,4-diaminotriazine, triazinate. In the absence of inhibitor, dihydrofolate reductase activity increased to a peak at mid-log growth and then declined during the later growth stages. When cells were grown with 10(-8) M antifolate, cell growth was not affected, but dihydrofolate reductase activity (assayed at pH 7.0) remained at approximately initial levels throughout the growth cycle. This represented 60 to 70% less activity at the mid-log stage of growth, as compared to control cells. Dihydrofolate reductase activity in cells grown with 10(-8) M methotrexate, when assayed at pH 8.5, reached levels twice those in control cells. Enzyme activity in cells grown with 10(-8) M chlorasquin, when assayed at pH 8.5, was also higher than at pH 7.0, but it was not as high as that observed in methotrexate-treated cells. Activity in cells grown with 10(-8) M triazinate was approximately the same when assayed at either pH 7.0 or 8.5. At 10(-8) M, the three antifolates had no effect on the activities of thymidylate synthetase, thymidine kinase, serine trans-hydroxymethylase, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase, and thymidylate kinase. However, when concentrations were used which completely inhibited growth (10(-7) to 10(-5) M methotrexate or chlorasuin; 10(-6) to 10(-5) M triazinate), dihydrofolate reductase was progressively inhibited, and there was a two- and a threefold elevation of thymidylate synthetase and thymidine kinase activity, respectively. Quantitatively, the elevation of either enzyme was similar over the range of growth-inhibitory concentrations studied. The activities of the other enzymes were unaffected. Methotrexate and chlorasquin inhibited thymidylate synthetase in a noncompetitive manner (with respect to 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate) with approximate Ki values of 4.5 X 10(-5) M and 4.9 X 10(-6) M, respectively. Triazinate, at 10(-3) M, had no significant effect on thymidylate synthetase activity. At 10(-3) M, the antifolates produced a negligible inhibition of thymidine kinase. Deoxyuridine 5'-monophosphate (10(-5) M) effectively protected thymidylate synthetase from heat inactivation in vitro. Dihydrofolate or 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate, at 10(-3) M, only partially protected thymidylate synthetase. Concentrations of methotrexate (10(-7) to 10(-6) M), chlorasquin (10(-7) M), and triazinate (10(-6) to 10(-5) M), which produced thymidylate synthetase elevation in vivo, did not protect the enzyme from heat inactivation in vitro. Methotrexate at 10(-5) M and chlorasquin at 10(-6) M gave slight protection. Thymidine kinase was stabilized only by thymidine.

publication date

  • January 1976



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 1277151

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2442

end page

  • 9


  • 36