Gemcitabine and cytosine arabinoside cytotoxicity: Association with lymphoblastoid cell expression

Ang Li, Brooke Fridley, Krishna Kalari, Gregory Jenkins, Anthony Batzler, Stephanie Safgren, Michelle Hildebrandt, Matthew Ames, Daniel Schaid, Liewei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Two cytidine analogues, gemcitabine (dFdC) and 1-β-D- arabinofuranosylcytosine (AraC), show significant therapeutic effect in a variety of cancers. However, response to these drugs varies widely. Evidence from tumor biopsy samples shows that expression levels for genes involved in the cytidine transport, metabolism, and bioactivation pathway contribute to this variation in response. In the present study, we set out to test the hypothesis that variation in gene expression both within and outside of this "pathway" might influence sensitivity to gemcitabine and AraC. Specifically, Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip and cytotoxicity assays were performed to obtain basal mRNA expression and IC50 values for both drugs in 197 ethnically defined Human Variation Panel lymphoblastoid cell lines. Genes with a high degree of association with IC50 values were involved mainly in cell death, cancer, cell cycle, and nucleic acid metabolism pathways. We validated selected significant genes by performing real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and selected two representative candidates, NT5C3 (within the pathway) and FKBP5 (outside of the pathway), for functional validation. Those studies showed that down-regulation of NT5C3 and FKBP5 altered tumor cell sensitivity to both drugs. Our results suggest that cell-based model system studies, when combined with complementary functional characterization, may help to identify biomarkers for response to chemotherapy with these cytidine analogues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7050-7058
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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