(1/8900) Profound variation in dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity in human blood cells: major implications for the detection of partly deficient patients.

Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is responsible for the breakdown of the widely used antineoplastic agent 5-fluorouracil (5FU), thereby limiting the efficacy of the therapy. To identify patients suffering from a complete or partial DPD deficiency, the activity of DPD is usually determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM cells). In this study, we demonstrated that the highest activity of DPD was found in monocytes followed by that of lymphocytes, granulocytes and platelets, whereas no significant activity of DPD could be detected in erythrocytes. The activity of DPD in PBM cells proved to be intermediate compared with the DPD activity observed in monocytes and lymphocytes. The mean percentage of monocytes in the PBM cells obtained from cancer patients proved to be significantly higher than that observed in PBM cells obtained from healthy volunteers. Moreover, a profound positive correlation was observed between the DPD activity of PBM cells and the percentage of monocytes, thus introducing a large inter- and intrapatient variability in the activity of DPD and hindering the detection of patients with a partial DPD deficiency.  (+info)

(2/8900) Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency and fluorouracil-related toxicity.

Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is the initial and rate-limiting enzyme of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) catabolism. We report lymphocytic DPD data concerning a group of 53 patients (23 men, 30 women, mean age 58, range 36-73), treated by 5-FU-based chemotherapy in different French institutions and who developed unanticipated 5-FU-related toxicity. Lymphocyte samples (standard collection procedure) were sent to us for DPD determination (biochemical method). Among the whole group of 53 patients, 19 had a significant DPD deficiency (DD; below 150 fmol min(-1) mg(-1) protein, i.e. less than 70% of the mean value observed from previous population study). There was a greater majority of women in the DD group (15 out of 19, 79%) compared with the remaining 34 patients (15 out of 34, 44%, P<0.014). Toxicity was often severe, leading to patient death in two cases (both women). The toxicity score (sum of WHO grading, theoretical range 0-20) was twice as high in patients with marked DD (below 100 pmol min(-1) mg(-1) protein, n = 11, mean score = 13.2) compared with patients with moderate DD (between 150 and 100 pmol min(-1) mg(-1) protein, n = 8, mean score = 6.8), P = 0.008. In the DD group, there was a high frequency of neurotoxic syndromes (7 out of 19, 37%). The two deceased patients both had severe neurotoxicity. The occurrence of cardiac toxicity was relatively rare (1 out of 19, 5%). These data suggest that women are particularly prone to DPD deficiency and allow a more precise definition of the DD toxicity profile.  (+info)

(3/8900) Phase I study of eniluracil, a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inactivator, and oral 5-fluorouracil with radiation therapy in patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancer.

5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is an effective enhancer of radiation therapy (RT) in head and neck cancers. Due to rapid, predominantly hepatic metabolism by dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and suggested clinical benefit from prolonged drug exposure, 5-FU is commonly given by continuous infusion. Eniluracil is a novel DPD-inactivator designed to prolong the half-life of 5-FU and provide sustained plasma concentrations of 5-FU with oral dosing. We conducted a Phase I study of the safety and efficacy of eniluracil given with oral 5-FU in patients receiving concurrent RT for recurrent or advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Thirteen patients with recurrent, metastatic, or high-risk (defined as an expected 2-year survival rate of <10%) head and neck cancer were enrolled and treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy on an every-other-week schedule. Eniluracil at a fixed dose [20 mg twice a day (BID)] was given for 7 consecutive days (days 1-7). 5-FU and RT were given on 5 consecutive days (days 2-6). One patient was treated with once-daily RT (2.0 Gy fractions). The remaining patients received hyperfractionated RT (1.5-Gy fractions BID). The initial dose of 5-FU was 2.5 mg/m2 given BID. Dose escalation in patient cohorts was scheduled at 2.5-mg/m2 increments, with intrapatient dose escalation permitted. Lymphocyte DPD activity and serum 5-FU and uracil concentrations were monitored during two cycles. DPD activity was completely or nearly completely inactivated in all patients. Sustained, presumed therapeutic concentrations of 5-FU were observed at a dose of 5.0 mg/m2 given BID. Cumulative dose-limiting myelosuppression (both neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) was observed during the fourth and fifth cycles following administration of 5.0 mg/m2 5-FU BID. One patient died of neutropenic sepsis during cycle 4. Other late cycle toxicities included diarrhea, fatigue, and mucositis. Grade 3 mucositis was observed in 4 patients, but no grade 4 mucositis or grade 3 or 4 dermatitis was observed. A second patient death occurred during cycle 1 of treatment. No specific cause of death was identified. The study was subsequently discontinued. Cumulative myelosupression was the significant dose-limiting toxicity of oral 5-FU given with the DPD-inactivator eniluracil on an every-other-week schedule. Clinical radiation sensitization was not observed, based on the absence of dose-limiting mucositis and dermatitis. Alternative dosing schedules need to be examined to determine the most appropriate use of eniluracil and 5-FU as radiation enhancers.  (+info)

(4/8900) Functional expression of the plant alternative oxidase affects growth of the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

We have investigated the extent to which functional expression of the plant alternative oxidase (from Sauromatum guttatum) in Schizosaccharomyces pombe affects yeast growth. When cells are cultured on glycerol, the maximum specific growth rate is decreased from 0.13 to 0.11 h-1 while growth yield is lowered by 20% (from 1. 14 x 10(8) to 9.12 x 10(7) cells ml-1). Kinetic studies suggest that the effect on growth is mitochondrial in origin. In isolated mitochondria we found that the alternative oxidase actively competes with the cytochrome pathway for reducing equivalents and contributes up to 24% to the overall respiratory activity. Metabolic control analysis reveals that the alternative oxidase exerts a considerable degree of control (22%) on total electron flux. Furthermore, the negative control exerted by the alternative oxidase on the flux ratio of electrons through the cytochrome and alternative pathways is comparable with the positive control exerted on this flux-ratio by the cytochrome pathway. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to report a phenotypic effect because of plant alternative oxidase expression. We suggest that the effect on growth is the result of high engagement of the non-protonmotive alternative oxidase in yeast respiration that, consequently, lowers the efficiency of energy conservation and hence growth.  (+info)

(5/8900) Analysis of the nitrous oxide reduction genes, nosZDFYL, of Achromobacter cycloclastes.

The structural gene, nosZ, for the monomeric N2O reductase has been cloned and sequenced from the denitrifying bacterium Achromobacter cycloclastes. The nosZ gene encodes a protein of 642 amino acid residues and the deduced amino acid sequence showed homology to the previously derived sequences for the dimeric N2O reductases. The relevant DNA region of about 3.6 kbp was also sequenced and found to consist of four genes, nosDFYL based on the similarity with the N2O reduction genes of Pseudomonas stutzeri. The gene product of A. cycloclastes nosF (299 amino acid residues) has a consensus ATP-binding sequence, and the nos Y gene encodes a hydrophobic protein (273 residues) with five transmembrane segments, suggesting the similarity with an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter which has two distinct domains of a highly hydrophobic region and ATP-binding sites. The nosL gene encodes a protein of 193 amino acid residues and the derived sequence showed a consensus sequence of lipoprotein modification/processing site. The expression of nosZ gene in Escherichia coli cells and the comparison of the translated sequences of the nosDFYL genes with those of bacterial transport genes for inorganic ions are discussed.  (+info)

(6/8900) Alternative oxidase inhibitors potentiate the activity of atovaquone against Plasmodium falciparum.

Recent evidence suggests that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum utilizes a branched respiratory pathway including both a cytochrome chain and an alternative oxidase. This branched respiratory pathway model has been used as a basis for examining the mechanism of action of two antimalarial agents, atovaquone and proguanil. In polarographic assays, atovaquone immediately reduced the parasite oxygen consumption rate in a concentration-dependent manner. This is consistent with its previously described role as an inhibitor of the cytochrome bc1 complex. Atovaquone maximally inhibited the rate of P. falciparum oxygen consumption by 73% +/- 10%. At all atovaquone concentrations tested, the addition of the alternative oxidase inhibitor, salicylhydroxamic acid, resulted in a further decrease in the rate of parasite oxygen consumption. At the highest concentrations of atovaquone tested, the activities of salicylhydroxamic acid and atovaquone appear to overlap, suggesting that at these concentrations, atovaquone partially inhibits the alternative oxidase as well as the cytochrome chain. Drug interaction studies with atovaquone and salicylhydroxamic acid indicate atovaquone's activity against P. falciparum in vitro is potentiated by this alternative oxidase inhibitor, with a sum fractional inhibitory concentration of 0.6. Propyl gallate, another alternative oxidase inhibitor, also potentiated atovaquone's activity, with a sum fractional inhibitory concentration of 0.7. Proguanil, which potentiates atovaquone activity in vitro and in vivo, had a small effect on parasite oxygen consumption in polarographic assays when used alone or in the presence of atovaquone or salicylhydroxamic acid. This suggests that proguanil does not potentiate atovaquone by direct inhibition of either branch of the parasite respiratory chain.  (+info)

(7/8900) Genetic evidence that InhA of Mycobacterium smegmatis is a target for triclosan.

Three Mycobacterium smegmatis mutants selected for resistance to triclosan each had a different mutation in InhA, an enoyl reductase involved in fatty acid synthesis. Two expressed some isoniazid resistance. A mutation originally selected on isoniazid also mediated triclosan resistance, as did the wild-type inhA gene on a multicopy plasmid. Replacement of the mutant chromosomal inhA genes with wild-type inhA eliminated resistance. These results suggest that M. smegmatis InhA, like its Escherichia coli homolog FabI, is a target for triclosan.  (+info)

(8/8900) A phosphonate-induced gene which promotes Penicillium-mediated bioconversion of cis-propenylphosphonic acid to fosfomycin.

Penicillium decumbens is able to epoxidize cis-propenylphosphonic acid (cPA) to produce the antibiotic fosfomycin [FOM; also referred to as phosphonomycin and (-)-cis-1,2-epoxypropylphosphonic acid], a bioconversion of considerable commercial significance. We sought to improve the efficiency of the process by overexpression of the genes involved. A conventional approach of isolating the presumed epoxidase and its corresponding gene was not possible since cPA epoxidation could not be achieved with protein extracts. As an alternative approach, proteins induced by cPA were detected by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The observation that a 31-kDa protein (EpoA) was both cPA induced and overaccumulated in a strain which more efficiently converted cPA suggested that it might take part in the bioconversion. EpoA was purified, its amino acid sequence was partially determined, and the corresponding gene was isolated from cosmid and cDNA libraries with oligonucleotide probes. The DNA sequence for this gene (epoA) contained two introns and an open reading frame encoding a peptide of 277 amino acids having some similarity to oxygenases. When the gene was subcloned into P. decumbens, a fourfold increase in epoxidation activity was achieved. epoA-disruption mutants which were obtained by homologous recombination could not convert cPA to FOM. To investigate the regulation of the epoA promoter, the bialaphos resistance gene (bar, encoding phosphinothricin acetyltransferase) was used to replace the epoA-coding region. In P. decumbens, expression of the bar reporter gene was induced by cPA, FOM, and phosphorous acid but not by phosphoric acid.  (+info)