A number of mouse and rat cells and their virus-transformed counterparts were tested for sensitivity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (PEA). In each case, the transformed cells were considerably less sensitive than were the nontransformed cells. In the presence of trifluoperazine, N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide, or retinoic acid, the transformed cells became as sensitive as the nontransformed cells, whereas these drugs had little or no effect on the sensitivity to PEA of the nontransformed cells. Temperature-sensitive virus-transformed normal rabbit kidney cells were sensitized to PEA by N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide, when these cells were grown as the transformed phenotype, whereas the nontransformed phenotype could not be sensitized. The possibility is discussed that upon malignant transformation a process which is dependent upon calmodulin or protein kinase C strongly decreases the sensitivity of the cells to PEA.

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