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Selective potentiation of lometrexol growth inhibition by dipyridamole through cell-specific inhibition of hypoxanthine salvage

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nicola CurtinORCiD


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The novel antifolate lometrexol (5,10-dideazatetrahydrofolate) inhibits de novo purine biosynthesis, and co-incubation with hypoxanthine abolishes its cytotoxicity. The prevention of hypoxanthine rescue from an antipurine antifolate by the nucleoside transport inhibitor dipyridamole was investigated for the first time in nine human and rodent cell lines from seven different tissues of origin. In A549, HeLa and CHO cells, dipyridamole prevented hypoxanthine rescue and so growth was inhibited by the combination of lometrexol, dipyridamole and hypoxanthine, but in HT29, HCT116, KK47, MDA231, CCRF CEM and L1210 cells dipyridamole had no effect and the combination did not inhibit growth. Dipyridamole inhibited hypoxanthine uptake in A549 but not in CCRF CEM cells. Dipyridamole prevented the hypoxanthine-induced repletion of dGTP pools, depleted by lometrexol, in A549 but not in CCRF CEM cells. Thus, the selective growth-inhibitory effect of the combination of lometrexol, dipyridamole and hypoxanthine is apparently due to the dipyridamole sensitivity (ds) or insensitivity (di) of hypoxanthine transport, Both the human and murine leukaemic cells are of the di phenotype. If this reflects the transport phenotype of normal bone marrow it would suggest that the combination of lometrexol, dipyridamole and hypoxanthine might be selectively toxic to certain tumour types and have reduced toxicity to the bone marrow.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Turner, R., Aherne, G., Curtin, N.J.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 1997

Volume: 76

Issue: 10

Pages: 1300-1307

Print publication date: 01/01/1997

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827

PubMed id: 9374375