Genetic and biochemical studies with the adenosine analogs toyocamycin and tubercidin: Mutation at the adenosine kinase locus in Chinese hamster cells
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The pyrrolopyrimidine nucleosides toyocamycin and tubercidin show several unique features of growth inhibition in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Stable mutants which are more than 600-fold resistant to these drugs are obtained in CHO cells at a strikingly high frequency of approximately 10(-3), in the absence of mutagenesis. The mutants resistant to toyocamycin (Toyr) and tubercidin (Tubr) exhibit similar cross-resistance patterns to the two selective drugs as well as to adenosine and 6-methyl mercaptopurine riboside, indicating that the same lesion is probably involved in all cases. The mutants examined were found to be deficient in the enzyme adenosine kinase (AK), indicating that the phosphorylation of these analogs is an essential first step in their toxic action. The above mutants (AK-) behaved recessively in cell hybrids, and segregation studies indicate that the AK locus is not linked to the X chromosome. The frequencies of similar Toyr mutants in other Chinese hamster lines, e.g., V79, CHW, M3-1, GM7, and CHO-K1, varied from similar to more than three logs less than that observed for CHO cells, indicating that various cell lines probably differ in the number of functional gene copies for this locus.