Cancer cells have an increased ability to synthesize GTP (guanosine triphosphate) because of increased activity of IMP DH (inosine 5′-phosphate dehydrogenase, EC 184.108.40.206). Because IMP DH activity is rate limiting for de novo biosynthesis of GTP, this enzyme was suggested as a sensitive target for chemotherapy. Tiazofurin (2-β-d-ribofuranosylthiazole-4-carboxamide) is converted in the cells into the active metabolite, TAD, (thiazole-4-carboxamide adenine dinucleotide) which potently inhibits IMP DH activity. By adding TAD to tissue extracts one can determine the extent of inhibition of IMP DH. We applied the IMP DH assay method to extracts of normal ovaries (N = 11) and epithelial ovarian carcinomas (N = 10). The IMP DH activity (mean ± SE) in ovarian carcinoma was 21.1 ± 5.8 which was markedly higher than that observed in normal ovaries (2.9 ± 0.7 nmol/hr/mg protein) (P < 0.05%). The inhibition by TAD of IMP DH activity in ovarian carcinomas (N = 4) was 81%. the results indicate that IMP DH activity is elevated sevenfold in ovarian carcinomas as compared to normal ovary and can be inhibited by exposure to tiazofurin (TAD). Similar high IMP DH activity and inhibition of the activity by TAD were observed in patients with chronic granulocytic leukemia in blast crisis among whom 70 to 80% remissions were reported. Since there is increased IMP DH activity in human ovarian carcinomas and in OVCAR-5 cells and tiazofurin and TAD inhibit IMP DH activity of these cells and the proliferation of human ovarian carcinoma xenografts in the mouse, tiazofurin may merit serious consideration for a Phase II trial for patients with recurrent/refractory epithelial ovarian carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology