Extracts of a glial cell line (SF-126) which is sensitive to the cytotoxic effect of the haloethylnitrosoureas and of a cell line (SF-188) which is resistant to these agents have been tested for their ability to release methylated bases from a DNA substrate which has been modified with [3H]dimethyl sulfate. In comparison with the sensitive cell line, extracts from the resistant cell line have 2–3-fold higher enzymatic activity. High performance liquid chromatography profiles of the bases which are released by these extracts show that the activity is specific for 3-methyladenine, suggesting that the resistant cells contain elevated levels of 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase. Previous studies have shown that these cells also contain elevated levels of O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase, suggesting that both enzyme activities may be involved in the resistance of this cell line to the haloethylnitrosoureas.


Supported by Grants CA44499 and CA13525 from the National Cancer Institute.

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