Deoxyguanosine toxicity in a mouse T lymphoma: Relationship to purine nucleoside phosphorylase-associated immune dysfunction

Lorraine J. Gudas, Buddy Ullman, Amos Cohen, David W. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The absence of either of the enzymes adenosine deaminase (ADA) or purine nucleoside phosphorylase is associated with an immunodeficiency disease. Because all four nucleoside substrates of the enzyme purine nucleoside phosphorylase accumulate in the urine of patients who lack this enzyme (Cohen et al., 1976), we examined the toxicity of each of the four substrates using a mouse T cell lymphoma (S49) in continuous culture. Of the four substrates (inosine, deoxyinosine, guanosine and deoxyguanosine), only deoxyguanosine is cytotoxic at concentrations lower than 100 μM; furthermore, only deoxyguanosine is directly phosphorylated in S49 cells. Mutant S49 cells lacking deoxycytidine kinase (EC are resistant to the toxic effects of deoxyguanosine, and these same mutants do not phosphorylate deoxyguanosine. Thus the cytotoxicity of exogenous deoxyguanosine correlates with the intracellular concentration of accumulated deoxyGTP. The addition of deoxyguanosine results in the depletion of deoxyCTP in S49 cells, indicating that deoxyGTP is an inhibitor of ribonucleotide reductase. Furthermore, the addition of deoxycytidine prevents the toxic effects of deoxyguanosine. Thus a therapy for purine nucleoside phosphorylase-deficient patients might include deoxycytidine to alleviate the proposed deoxyCTP starvation in those tissues capable of phosphorylating deoxyguanosine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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