Treatment of human brain tumor xenografts with O6-benzyl-2′-deoxyguanosine and BCNU

S. Clifford Schold, Demetrius M. Kokkinakis, Jack L. Rudy, Robert C. Moschel, Anthony E. Pegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


O6-Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a constitutively expressed DNA repair protein, removes alkyl groups from the O6-position of guanine in DNA. Tumor cells with high MGMT activity are resistant to nitrosoureas and other agents that form toxic O6-alkyl adducts. O6-Benzylguanine (BG) inactivates the MGMT protein and thereby enhances the sensitivity of tumor cells to alkylating drugs. However, the therapeutic potential of BG is limited by its poor solubility and its nonspecific inactivation of MGMT in normal tissues as well as in tumor tissues. Consequently, BG analogues are being developed to identify agents that have more favorable pharmacological characteristics. We evaluated O6-benzyl-2′-deoxyguanosine (dBG), the 2′-deoxyribonucleoside analogue of BG, for its ability to inhibit MGMT and to potentiate 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) in a MGMT-positive human brain tumor xenograft, Daoy. When given i.p. 1 h before BCNU (25 mg/m2) to animals bearing s.c. tumors, dBG (134 mg/m2) produced a growth delay of 24.7 days, compared to 21.6 days after treatment with an equimolar dose of BG (90 mg/m2) plus BCNU and -0.6 days after treatment with BCNU alone. The combination of dBG + BCNU also increased the survival of animals bearing intracranial tumors by 65%. By increasing the dose of dBG to 300 mg/m2 (the maximum dose that could be delivered i.p. in a standard treatment volume), the growth delay of s.c. tumors increased from -0.1 days with BCNU alone to 39.3 days. dBG suppressed both tumor and liver MGMT activity to less than 1.5% of baseline, and dBG + BCNU induced extensive perivascular apoptosis. Because dBG is a 10-fold less potent MGMT inhibitor than BG in HT-29 cell extracts, these results illustrate the capacity of BG analogues to potentiate BCNU toxicity, despite less in vitro activity than the parent compound, and emphasize the importance of in vivo evaluation of BG analogues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2076-2081
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of human brain tumor xenografts with O6-benzyl-2′-deoxyguanosine and BCNU'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this