Biochemical effects of folate-based inhibitors of thymidylate synthase in MGH-U1 cells

Biserka Mitrovski, Josie Pressacco, Saul Mandelbaum, Charles Erlichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The TS-inhibitory effects induced by a 24-h exposure to the folate-based TS inhibitors CB3717, C2-desamino analogs of CB3717 including D1694, and BW1843U89 were quantitated using the MGH-U1 human bladder carcinoma. The effects of D1694 on the time course of TS inhibition and on intracellular deoxyuridine monophosphate (dUMP) accumulation and deoxyuridine (dUrd) production were evaluated. D1694 and BW1843U89 were the most active TS inhibitors with IC50 values of 2.4 and 0.5 n M, respectively. The C2-desamino C2-methyl dideazafolates were 27-292 times more potent than the parent CB3717 as TS inhibitors. A methyl group at the C2 position of CB3717 had the most dramatic effect, whereas a thiazole substitution for a benzyl added a small benefit and N10 substitution had a limited impact on TS-inhibitory potency and clonogenic survival. There was a significant correlation between the IC50 values for TS inhibition and those for cytotoxic potency obtained for these drugs. LV and thymidine protected cells from these folate-based TS inhibitors. Intracellular dUMP levels following 24 h D1694 (IC50) exposure increased 7-fold. Levels of dUrd effluxing into the media increased up to 4.5 μM following a 24-h exposure to D1694 (IC90). We conclude that (a) C2-desamino C2-methyl dideazafolates are potent TS inhibitors, (b) TS inhibition requires prolonged exposure with these folate TS inhibitors, (c) survival is correlated with inhibition of TS for the folate-based TS inhibitors and (d) the biochemical consequences of TS inhibition include increased dUMP and dUrd levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalCancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • Antifolate
  • Inhibitors
  • Thymidylate synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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