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Methotrexate intracellular disposition in acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a mathematical model of gamma-glutamyl hydrolase activity



Methotrexate intracellular disposition in acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a mathematical model of gamma-glutamyl hydrolase activity



Clinical Cancer Research 8(7): 2423-2429



Methotrexate (MTX) is an antifolate that is widely used for the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a number of other malignant and nonmalignant diseases. Within cells, MTX is metabolized to more active methotrexate polyglutamates (MTXPG), and these polyglutamates are subsequently cleaved in lysosomes by gamma-glutamyl hydrolase (GGH). GGH is reported to act as either an endopeptidase or an exopeptidase, exhibiting species differences in these functions. To better define the in vivo functions of GGH in human leukemia cells, we characterized GGH activity with different MTXPG substrates (MTX with three to five glutamates) in human T- and B-lineage leukemia cell lines, and in primary leukemia cells from newly diagnosed patients with ALL. Parameters estimated from fitting a series of hypothetical mathematical models to the data revealed that the experimental data were best fit by a model where GGH simultaneously cleaved multiple glutamyl residues, with highest activity at cleaving the outermost or two outermost residues from a polyglutamate chain. The model also revealed that GGH has a higher affinity for longer chain polyglutamates. Together, these findings provide new insights to the intracellular disposition of MTX in human ALL cells, and provides a mechanism-based model for characterizing differences among patients and genetic subtypes of ALL.

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Accession: 046676706

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PMID: 12114448


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