Fludarabine-Mediated Circumvention of Cytarabine Resistance Is Associated with Fludarabine Triphosphate Accumulation in Cytarabine-Resistant Leukemic Cells
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The combination of cytarabine (ara-C) with fludarabine is a common approach to treating resistant acute myeloid leukemia. Success depends on a fludarabine triphosphate (F-ara-ATP)-mediated increase in the active intracellular metabolite of ara-C, ara-C 5'-triphosphate (ara-CTP). Therapy-resistant leukemia may exhibit ara-C resistance, the mechanisms of which might induce cross-resistance to fludarabine with reduced F-ara-ATP formation. The present study evaluated the effect of combining ara-C and fludarabine on ara-C-resistant leukemic cells in vitro. Two variant cell lines (R1 and R2) were 8-fold and 10-fold more ara-C resistant, respectively, than the parental HL-60 cells. Reduced deoxycytidine kinase activity was demonstrated in R1 and R2 cells, and R2 cells also showed an increase in cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase II activity. Compared with HL-60 cells, R1 and R2 cells produced smaller amounts of ara-CTP. Both variants accumulated less F-ara-ATP than HL-60 cells and showed cross-resistance to fludarabine nucleoside (F-ara-A). R2 cells, however, accumulated much smaller amounts of F-ara-ATP and were more F-ara-A resistant than R1 cells. In HL-60 and R1 cells, F-ara-A pretreatment followed by ara-C incubation produced F-ara-ATP concentrations sufficient for augmenting ara-CTP production, thereby enhancing ara-C cytotoxicity. No potentiation was observed in R2 cells. Nucleotidase might preferentially degrade F-ara-A monophosphate over ara-C monophosphate, leading to reduced F-ara-ATP production and thereby compromising the F-ara-A-mediated potentiation of ara-C cytotoxicity in R2 cells. Thus, F-ara-A-mediated enhancement of ara-C cytotoxicity depended on F-ara-ATP accumulation in ara-C-resistant leukemic cells but ultimately was associated with the mechanism of ara-C resistance.
- International Journal of Hematology
International Journal of Hematology 85(2), 108-115, 2007-02-15