Several possible mechanisms of resistance to alkylating agents have been posed and discussed on the basis of presently available experimental data. The two mechanisms that appear to be most plausible are altered cell permeability toward the agents and deactivation of the agents by combination with nonprotein sulfhydryl groups. These two mechanisms might function simultaneously and might contribute to both “natural” and “acquired” resistance. However, definitive evidence supporting any specific mechanism is scant.

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