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Unbalanced growth in mouse cells with amplified dhfr genes

Abstract When grown in the absence of methotrexate, cells carrying unstably amplified dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes have a growth disadvantage that is a function of their level of gene amplification. Although this growth disadvantage is thought to drive the loss of unstably amplified dhfr genes in the absence of methotrexate, its mechanism is not understood. The present studies of murine cell lines with different levels of dhfr gene amplification demonstrate that such cells experience increased unbalanced growth (excess RNA and protein content relative to DNA content) with increased levels of dhfr gene amplification. Stathmokinetic analysis of a cell line with unstably amplified dhfr genes showed that the unbalanced growth was associated with a very low rate of G1/S transit, which suggests that amplified DNA sequences may activate a cell cycle checkpoint at the G1/S boundary. Hydroxyurea, which is known to induce rapid elimination of amplified genes at sub-cytotoxic concentrations, also inhibits the cell cycle at the G1/S transition and causes unbalanced growth. Earlier work has shown that hydroxyurea selectively targets those cells within the heterogeneous drug resistant cell populations which have the highest amplified gene dosage. The finding that unstable gene amplification and hydroxyurea have similar effects on the cell suggests that hydroxyurea may achieve this selective targeting by pushing those cells with the highest levels of gene amplification over a critical stress threshold to cause growth arrest or cell death. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cell Proliferation Wiley
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