In this paper it is shown that the radioactivity detected in DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids 1 to 5 hr after N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-1-14C administration is retained in hepatoma cells for long periods of time (at least for 48 hr) while it is rapidly eliminated from liver and spleen cells. A hypothesis is suggested that emphasizes the role of turnover processes in mechanisms responsible for the selective toxicity of alkylating agents and nitrosoureas towards tumor cells.

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This work was supported by grants from the Academy of Medical Sciences and Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

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