Thiopurine methyltransferase in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: biochemical and molecular biological aspects.
until further notice
SourceEuropean Journal of Cancer, 41, 4, (2005), pp. 613-623
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Cancer
SubjectIGMD 3: Genomic disorders and inherited multi-system disorders; NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; ONCOL 1: Hereditary cancer and cancer-related syndromes; ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer; ONCOL 3: Translational research; UMCN 1.4: Immunotherapy, gene therapy and transplantation
Thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) is a cytosolic enzyme, catalysing S-methylation of aromatic and heterocyclic sulphhydryl compounds. TPMT activities and genotypes have been determined in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and in control children. Median red blood cell (RBC) TPMT activity in ALL patients at diagnosis was significantly lower than in controls (median 11.5 pmol/10(7) RBC*hr; range 1.7-30.7; n = 191 vs. 14.6 pmol/10(7) RBC*hr; range 1.6-50.7; n = 140). This reduction of TPMT activity in ALL patients was not due to differences in the frequency of mutations in the TPMT gene. In concordance with other authors, we found a higher TPMT activity during maintenance treatment with 6-mercaptopurine (6MP) than at diagnosis and in controls. However, we observed that TPMT activity was already significantly increased after the induction therapy, before the patients received 6MP (median 17.5; range 3.9-40.3 pmol/10(7) RBC*hr; n = 139). In vitro experiments indicate that the early increase of TPMT activity during treatment may be explained by the use of antifolates, e.g., methotrexate and trimethoprim.
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