Deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) plays a central role in the deoxynucleoside salvage processes, phosphorylating dC, dA, and dG to their monophosphates. In mammalian cells, the major source of dTTP comes also from dC via dCMP deaminase. Moreover, based on its broad substrate specificity, this enzyme is responsible for the activation of several nucleoside analogues of therapeutical importance, influencing the sensitivity of malignant tissues towards chemotherapy. The expression of dCK is highest in different lymphoid cells/tissues, in embryonic cells and in most malignant cells (2, 7, 13-15, 18). The activity of dCK is not cell cycle-regulated. In contrast to this, dCK activity was found to be elevated several fold upon short-term treatments of normal human lymphocytes with therapeutic nucleoside anlogues, and other genotoxic agents as well as by DNA damaging agents including the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin, the topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide and γ-irradiation, which might be a potentially important phenomenon with respect to the clinical practice, too. These findings indicated that the main trigger of activation could be the damaged DNA itself, and the biological relevance might be to supply the dNTPs for the enhanced DNA repair. Activation of dCK was paralleled by elevated levels of intracellular dATP, raising the possibility that dCK activation is linked to the induction of apoptosis. With regard to the mechanism of enzyme activation, no changes were found in the protein and mRNA levels of dCK upon stimulation, while the activation process was calcium dependent and comprised a protein phosphorylation step. A positive correlation was found between the enzymatic activity and the native immunoreactivity of dCK, strongly arguing that dCK undergoes a conformational change during activation, which results in the formation of a catalytically more active steric structure (8-11, 22, 26, 32-34, 35, 36).
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2004|
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