Bioactivation of mitomycin antibiotics by aerobic and hypoxic Chinese hamster ovary cells overexpressing DT-diaphorase
Abstract DT-Diaphorase catalyzes a two-electron reduction of mitomycin C (MC) and porfiromycin (POR) to reactive species. Many cell lines that overexpress DT-diaphorase and are sensitive to the mitomycins are protected from the aerobic cytotoxicity of these drugs by the DT-diaphorase inhibitor dicumarol. The cytoprotective properties of this relatively non-specific inhibitor, however, vanish under hypoxic conditions. To ascertain the role of DT-diaphorase in mitomycin bioactivation and cytotoxicity in living cells, a rat liver DT-diaphorase cDNA was transfected into Chinese hamster ovary cells. MC was equitoxic to the parental cells under oxygenated and hypoxic conditions. In contrast, POR was less toxic than MC to these cells under aerobic conditions, but significantly more toxic than MC under hypoxia. Two DT-diaphorase-transfected clones displayed increases in DT-diaphorase activity of 126- and 133-fold over parental cells. The activities of other oxidoreductases implicated in mitomycin bioreduction were unchanged. MC was more toxic to both DT-diaphorase-transfected lines than to parental cells; the toxicity of MC to the transfected lines was similar in air and hypoxia. POR was also more toxic to the DT-diaphorase-elevated clones than to parental cells under oxygenated conditions. Under hypoxia, however, the toxicity of POR to the transfected clones was unchanged from that of parental cells. The findings implicate DT-diaphorase in mitomycin bioactivation in living cells, but suggest that this enzyme does not contribute to the differential toxicity of MC or POR in air and hypoxia.
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