Determinants of deoxyadenosine toxicity in hybrids between human T- and B- lymphoblasts as a model for the development of drug resistance in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Cultured human T-lymphoblastoid cell lines are more sensitive than B-cell lines to 2'-deoxyadenosine in the presence of 2'-deoxycoformycin, a potent inhibitor of adenosine deaminase. This difference is related to the greater efficiency with which T-lymphoblasts accumulate cytotoxic levels of dATP derived from the adenosine deaminase substrate 2'-deoxyadenosine (dAdo). Previous work has shown that differences in dATP accumulation by cultured T- and B-lymphoblastoid cell lines cannot be explained by large differences in the levels of dAdo-phosphorylating or dAdo nucleotide (dAXP)-degrading activities in cytoplasmic extracts of these cells, although it has been proposed that intact B-cell lines may catabolize intracellular dAXP more rapidly than do T-cell lines. To further examine the determinants of dAdo sensitivity in T- and B-lymphoblasts, we have studied dAdo and dAXP metabolism in the human T- and B-cell lines CEM and WI-L2 and in hybrids generated by fusion of these cell lines. The hybrid nature of the fusion products was established by nutritional studies and by analyses of cellular surface antigens, DNA content, and enzymatic activities. We found that WI-L2 X CEM hybrids and another T X B hybrid derived from fusion of the SB human B-cell line with CEM were 30- to 40-fold less sensitive to dAdo and about 10-fold less sensitive to the dAdo analogue 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosyladenine than was CEM, or about as resistant as were their B-cell parental lines. Our studies confirm that CEM avidly accumulates dAXP from dAdo but does not catabolize intracellular dAXP. In contrast, WI-L2, SB, and WI-L2 X CEM and SB X CEM hybrids rapidly degraded intracellular dAXP, which limited their ability to undergo dAXP pool expansion. Expression of dAXP catabolic activity in T X B hybrids behaved as a dominant mechanism, conferring resistance to dAdo- and dAdo-related nucleosides to T X B hybrids. It has been postulated that cell fusion may play a role in the progression of tumors and contribute to diversity among the cells that compose clonal tumors. We have speculated that fusion of a malignant T-lymphoblast with an activated B-cell might be a mechanism for the evolution of drug resistance in acute T-cell leukemia.
Kurtzberg, J; Hershfield, MS
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