The Role of Thymidylate Synthase in Pemetrexed-Resistant Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cells


We established new pemetrexed-resistant cells originating from malignant pleural mesothelioma MSTO-211H cells to clarify the mechanism involved in pemetrexed resistance in malignant pleural mesothelioma. In the pemetrexed-resistant cells, only thymidylate synthase (TYMS) mRNA was overexpressed among other well-known molecular targets and chemosensitivity determinants of pemetrexed, and the role of the TYMS gene was ascertained by artificial regulation induced by specific siRNA. Silencing the TYMS expression partially restored the cytotoxicity of pemetrexed. The resistant cells did not display other gene alterations related to folate metabolism. We conclude that the primary mechanism imparting resistance to these cells is specific up-regulation of TYMS function. Further, the TYMS gene may serve as a useful biomarker for the prediction of pemetrexed chemosensitivity in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. We also investigated the efficacy of 1-(3-C-ethynyl-β-D-ribo-pento furanosyl)cytosine (ECyd) in overcoming pemetrexed resistance; this compound is presently undergoing clinical trials in the USA as TAS-106. ECyd had a similar antitumor effect on the resistant cells as that on the parental cells. In the clinical treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, ECyd promises to emerge as a novel drug.

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T. Obata, M. Tanaka, Y. Suzuki and T. Sasaki, "The Role of Thymidylate Synthase in Pemetrexed-Resistant Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cells," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 1052-1059. doi: 10.4236/jct.2013.46119.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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