Studies of purine and tiazofurin metabolism in drug sensitive human chronic myelogenous leukemia K 562 cells

K. Pillwein, H. N. Jayaram, G. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Antineoplastic activity of tiazofurin (2-β-D-ribofuranosylthiazole-4-carboxamide) is mediated by an anabolite of the drug thiazole-4-carboxamide adenine dinucleotide (TAD), an analog of NAD which inhibits IMP dehydrogenase activity resulting in the depletion of guanylate pools and cell death. Human chronic myelogenous leukemia K 562 cells were found to be sensitive to tiazofurin with an IC50 of 19.2 μM. TAD content in K 562 cells (1.3 nmol/109/h) was in the range found in susceptible murine and human tumor cells. Studies were conducted to relate tiazofurin toxicity with biochemical effects by examining nucleotide pools. Among the nucleotides, only guanylate pools were significantly depleted by the drug. To further study the effect of the drug on the purine nucleotide de novo and salvage biosynthetic pathways, flux of radiolabelled formate and guanine was employed. The results showed that de novo synthesis of guanylates was curtailed primarily by the drug's action without influencing adenylate biosynthesis or salvage of guanine to guanylates. These studies show that K 562 cells are sensitive to selective inhibition of de novo guanylate pathway indicating that human chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis might be a good candidate for Phase II clinical trials with tiazofurin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-100
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1988



  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • Purine metabolism
  • Tiazofurin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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