Journal Article

Inter- and intracellular heterogeneity of <i>O</i><sup>6</sup>-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase expression in human brain tumours: possible significance in nitrosourea therapy

S.M. Lee, H. Reid, R.H. Elder, N. Thatcher and G.P. Margison

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 4, pages 637-641
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.4.637
Inter- and intracellular heterogeneity of
                        O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase expression
                    in human brain tumours: possible significance in nitrosourea
                    therapy

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The inter- and intracellular distribution of the DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (ATase) may be an important factor in the sensitivity or resistance of tumours to treatment with certain alkylating agents, including the methyltriazenes and nitrosoureas. In order to examine this issue 26 human brain tumour sections (23 high grade gliomas and three low grade gliomas) were examined for ATase expression by immunohistochemistry using arabbit anti-human ATase polyclonal antibody. Positive staining, seen as fine black granules mainly confined to the nucleus, was observed in all the glioma sections examined. There was marked cellular heterogeneity, ranging from cells completelydevoid of staining to cells with very intense staining. Semi-quantitatively, in the 23 high grade gliomas examined six had1+ staining, seven had 2 + staining and 10 had 3 + staining, whereas all three low grade gliomas had 1+ staining. These results are in contrast to published reports showing that ∼35% of human brain tumour-derived cell lines and xenografts had very low levels of ATase activity and suggest that the complete lack of ATase is not a common occurrence in high grade glioma.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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