Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase Deficiency Potentiates the Antiproliferative Activity of Methotrexate through Enhanced Depletion of Intracellular ATP.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Lower plasma nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) levels are associated with improved response to methotrexate (MTX) in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Cell-based studies confirmed that reduced cellular NAMPT activity potentiates the pharmacologic activity of MTX; however, the mechanism of this interaction has yet to be defined. Therefore, in this study, we investigate the mechanism of enhanced pharmacologic activity of MTX in NAMPT-deficient A549 cells. Small interfering RNA-based silencing of NAMPT expression resulted in a greater than 3-fold increase in sensitivity to MTX (P < 0.005) that was completely reversed by supplementation with folinic acid. Despite a 68% reduction in cellular NAD levels in NAMPT-deficient cells, no change in expression or activity of dihydrofolate reductase was observed and uptake of MTX was not significantly altered. MTX did not potentiate the depletion of cellular NAD levels, but NAMPT-deficient cells had significant elevations in levels of intermediates of de novo purine biosynthesis and were 4-fold more sensitive to depletion of ATP by MTX (P < 0.005). Supplementation with hypoxanthine and thymidine completely reversed the antiproliferative activity of MTX in NAMPT-deficient cells and corresponded to repletion of the cellular ATP pool without any effect on NAD levels. Together, these findings demonstrate that increased MTX activity with decreased NAMPT expression is dependent on the antifolate activity of MTX and is driven by enhanced sensitivity to the ATP-depleting effects of MTX. For the first time, these findings provide mechanistic details to explain the increase in pharmacological activity of MTX under conditions of reduced NAMPT activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Singh, RK; van Haandel, L; Heruth, DP; Ye, SQ; Leeder, JS; Becker, ML; Funk, RS

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 365 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 96 - 106

PubMed ID

  • 29420256

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5830637

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1521-0103

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1124/jpet.117.246199


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States