Murray, D., Rosenberg, E. and Allalunis-Turner, M. J. Protection of Human Tumor Cells of Differing Radiosensitivity by WR-1065.

We examined the ability of WR-1065, the biologically active aminothiol form of the clinically used drug amifostine (WR-2721, Ethyol®), to protect cultures of two human glioblastoma cell lines of greatly differing radiosensitivity from the cytotoxic effects of γ radiation. M059J cells are extremely radiosensitive compared to M059K cells (which were derived from the same tumor) and are defective in the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNAPK)-mediated pathway for the repair of DSBs. In spite of their marked phenotypic differences, the two glioblastoma lines were protected equivalently (∼1.8-fold) after a 30-min preirradiation treatment with 4 mM WR-1065. These findings are in agreement with earlier studies that showed no relationship between the ability of another aminothiol, cysteamine, to protect human tumor cells with differing abilities to repair DSBs and/or radiosensitivity. Thus it appears that differences in intrinsic radiosensitivity and ability to repair DSBs are not important general factors in the modulation of the radiosensitivity of human cells by aminothiols. Because of a previous report that the radiosensitive mutant rodent xrs5 cell line (which, like M059J, is defective in the DNAPK-mediated pathway for repairing DSBs) is unusually refractory to the radioprotective effects of WR-1065, we re-examined the ability of WR-1065 to protect these cells. In contrast to the earlier studies, both the wild-type and mutant rodent lines were protected extensively by WR-1065. This discrepancy might be related to some unknown factor, such as differences in chromatin organization among xrs5 subclones that arise during their karyotypic evolution, possibly leading to altered DNA–drug associations.

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