Mechanism of action of 5'-methylthioadenosine in S49 cells

Michael K. Riscoe, Paula A. Tower, Adolph J. Ferro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


5'-Deoxy-5'-methylthioadenosine, a naturally occurring co-product of polyamine biosyn-thesis, has been shown to inhibit a variety of biological processes. To investigate the mode of action of this nucleoside and to assess the involvement of cAMP in this action, the effect of methylthioadenosine on S49 wild type and two cAMP-related mutant cells was examined. The sulfur-containing nucleoside potently inhibited the growth of the parental strain (IC50 = 50 μM), whereas nearly 10-fold greater resistance was demonstrated by S49 adenylate cyclase deficient (IC50 = 420 μM) and S49 cAMP-dependent protein kinase deficient (IC50 = 520 μM) mutant cells. Methylthioadenosine was shown to competitively inhibit the S49-derived high-affinity cAMP phosphodiesterase (Ki = 62 μM) in vitro, whereas methylthioadenosine phosphorylase activity was equivalent in all three cell types. The intracellular levels of the regulatory nucleotide, cAMP, increased dramatically in the wild type (17-fold) and protein kinase deficient (6-fold) strains in response to 100 μM concentrations of the drug. It is concluded that the growth arrest produced by 5'-methylthioadenosine in S49 cells is primarily due to the inhibition of cAMP phosphodiesterase and the subsequent increase in cAMP levels that result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3639-3643
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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