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Specific targeting of tumor cells by the creatine analog cyclocreatine

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Creatine kinase (CK) an enzyme involved in cellular ATP homeostasis has been implicated in tumorigenesis. Cyclocreatine (CCr) a CK substrate analog was shown to be cytotoxic to a broad spectrum of solid tumors. We have measured and compared the CK activity and CCr sensitivity of 49 transformed and non-transformed cell lines. Among tumor cell lines, there was a strong correlation between the two (p = 0.0026, regression analysis); cell lines expressing high levels of CK (>0.10 Units/mg protein) were generally sensitive to the drug and cell lines with low CK were resistant. Tumor cell lines highest in CK and most sensitive to CCr were derived from prostate, small cell lung and neuronal tissue. The hematopoetic tumor lines tested were generally low in CK and all were resistant to CCr. Fourteen non-transformed cell lines were examined and all were resistant to the compound, including six with high levels of CK. Thus, CCr preferentially targeted tumor cells. Further, CCr inhibited tumor cell proliferation more efficiently than macromolecular synthesis indicating that, rather than exerting a general effect on energy metabolism, CCr may act on a specific pathway involved in controlling tumor cell proliferation.
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Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1996

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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