Isolation and characterization of purine-nucleoside phosphorylase-deficient T-lymphoma cells and secondary mutants with altered ribonucleotide reductase: Genetic model for immunodeficiency disease Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
  • Lymphoma
  • Pentosyltransferases
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases


  • The inherited deficiency of purine-nucleoside phosphorylase (PNPase; purine-nucleoside:orthophosphate ribosyltransferase, EC in humans is associated with a severe deficiency of the T lymphocytes of the immune system. Because of the unsatisfactory nature of previously described model systems, we have selected, cloned, and characterized a mutant mouse T cell lymphoma (S49) completely deficient in PNPase. Of the four substrates of PNPase, only deoxyguanosine at low concentrations is toxic to the PNPase-deficient (NSU-1) cells. In order to delineate the biochemical processes necessary for the sensitivity of the NSU-1 cells to deoxyguanosine, we have isolated a series of secondary mutants resistant to deoxyguanosine from the PNPase-deficient line. One of these mutants is defective in its ability to transport deoxyguanosine into the cell. A second type of mutant cannot phosphorylate the deoxyguanosine and is totally deficient in deoxycytidine kinase activity. A third type of mutant (NSU-1-dGuo-L) can both transport and phosphorylate deoxyguanosine and accumulates dGTP. However, unlike its parent, NSU-1-dGuo-L does not become depleted of dCTP and TTP when exposed to exogenous deoxyguanosine. This observation is accounted for by the fact that the reduction of CDP to dCDP by the ribonucleotide reductase (ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase, 2'-deoxyribonucleoside-diphosphate:oxidized-thioredoxin 2'-oxidoreductase, EC of NSU-1-dGuo-L cells is not normally sensitive to feedback inhibition by dGTP.Thus, in order to exert its toxicity deoxyguanosine must be transported into the cell, be phosphorylated by deoxycytidine kinase, and be accumulated as dGTP. By inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase, dGTP depletes the cell of dCTP and to some extent TTP, thus preventing the synthesis of DNA, a process necessary for any proliferation-dependent function of T cells.

publication date

  • January 1979



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC383191

PubMed ID

  • 108675

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1074

end page

  • 8


  • 76


  • 3