The transplantable murine Dunn osteosarcoma has no detectable hypoxanthine:guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (EC 184.108.40.206) activity. This was established from the tumors directly and from tissue culture cell lines derived from the tumor using a variety of assays: e.g., no [3H]hypoxanthine uptake into tumor or tissue culture cells, no conversion of [3H]hypoxanthine to [3H]IMP by cell extracts from tumors or tissue culture cells, no growth of tissue culture cells in hypoxanthine:aminopterin:thymidine medium, and normal growth of these cells in 10 µm 6-mercaptopurine. Ten human osteosarcomas have been assayed, and two have no apparent hypoxanthine:guanine phosphoribosyltransferase enzyme activity. After high-dose methotrexate treatment in vivo, murine tumors could be selectively killed and normal tissues could be spared by using a rescue regimen of hypoxanthine-thymidine-allopurinol.
Supported in part by USPHS Grants CA18662 and CA19589.