Pharmacogenomic dissection of resistance to thymidylate synthase inhibitors

Weiguang Wang, S. Marsh, J. Cassidy, H. L. McLeod

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    67 Citations (Scopus)


    Chemoresistance is a major obstacle for successful cancer treatment. Gene amplification and altered expression are the main genetic mechanisms of tumor chemoresistance. Previously, only a limited number of genes were analyzed in each individual study using traditional molecular methods such as Northern and Southern blotting. In this study, the global gene expression patterns of 1176 genes in a panel of five thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitor [raltitrexed (TDX) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)] resistant and sensitive parent cell lines were investigated using cDNA array technology. Only 28 of 1176 genes were altered >1.5-fold among resistant cells, with 2 genes (TS and YES1) consistently higher in the panel. TS mRNA and protein were consistently overexpressed in all drug-resistant tumor cell lines compared with the sensitive parent cell lines. Southern blot and FISH analysis demonstrated that the TS gene was amplified in 5-FU- and TDX-resistant cell lines, YES1 mRNA and protein were overexpressed in four drug-resistant tumor cell lines but were not overexpressed in the lymphoblast cell line W1L2(TDX), although the YES1 gene was highly amplified in these cells. The fact that W1L2 has high level (> 10-fold) resistance to TS inhibitor in the absence of high YES1 expression leads to a conclusion that YES1 has no direct role in this drug resistance process. By narrowing the search from 1176 to 2 genes, the analysis of in vitro TDX and 5-FU resistance becomes more straightforward for confirmatory studies. These data provide encouragement that comprehensive transcript analysis will aid the quest for more enlightened therapeutics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5505-5510
    Number of pages5
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • PHASE-I


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