This study reports the selective sensitivity to tiazofurin (2-beta-D-ribofuranosylthiazole-4-carboxamide, NSC-286193) of human leukemic leukocytes as compared to normal ones in bone marrow and peripheral blood samples by comparing the production of the active metabolite, thiazole-4-carboxamide adenine dinucleotide (TAD), from labeled tiazofurin and the depression of GTP concentration. When labeled tiazofurin was incubated with leukocytes obtained from healthy volunteers or from leukemic patients (acute non-lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia), the TAD production was 27.0 +- 8.3, 551.3 +- 71.8 and 755.9 +- 94.1 pmoles/109 cells per hr, respectively. Thus, the leukemic cells produced over 20-fold higher concentrations of TAD than the normal leukocytes. Incibation with tiazofurin in leukemic leukocytes decreased the GTP pools (to 48-79%), whereas there was no change in the normal leukocytes. These results indicate a selectivity of response to tiazofurin in human normal and leukemic leukocytes. These procedure reported in this work may be suitable as a rapid predictive test for the sensitivity of leukemic leukocytes to tiazofurin. Such a diagnostic test should be helpful in identifying neoplastic cells sensitive to tiazofurin in the Phase II trials now being developed.
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