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Pegylated arginine deiminase synergistically increases the cytotoxicity of gemcitabine in human pancreatic cancer.

  • Author(s): Daylami, Rouzbeh
  • Muilenburg, Diego J
  • Virudachalam, Subbulakshmi
  • Bold, Richard J
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has proven to be one of the most chemo-resistant among all solid organ malignancies. Several mechanisms of resistance have been described, though few reports of strategies to overcome this chemo-resistance have been successful in restoring sensitivity to the primary chemotherapy (gemcitabine) and enter the clinical treatment arena.

Methods

We examined the ability of cellular arginine depletion through treatment with PEG-ADI to alter in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity of gemcitabine. The effect on levels of key regulators of gemcitabine efficacy (e.g. RRM2, hENT1, and dCK) were examined.

Results

Combination of PEG-ADI and gemcitabine substantially increases growth arrest, leading to increased tumor response in vivo. PEG-ADI is a strong inhibitor of the gemcitabine-induced overexpression of ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) levels both in vivo and in vitro, which is associated with gemcitabine resistance. This mechanism is through the abrogation of the gemcitabine-mediated inhibitory effect on E2F-1 function, a transcriptional repressor of RRM2.

Conclusion

The ability to alter gemcitabine resistance in a targeted manner by inducing metabolic stress holds great promise in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.

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