Adenosine deaminase impairment and ribonucleotide reductase activity and levels in HeLa cells.

A. L. Lin, H. L. Elford

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20 Scopus citations


Adenosine deaminase (adenosine aminohydrolase, EC patients recently were found to have abnormally high levels of dATP, a negative allosteric effector of ribonucleotide reductase (ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase, 2'-deoxyribonucleoside-diphosphate:oxidized thioredoxin 2'-oxidoreductase, EC Therefore it was proposed that the immunodeficiency associated with adenosine deaminase deficiency is mediated through inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase and hence DNA replication. HeLa cells, treated with an adenosine deaminase inhibitor, erythro-9(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine, and deoxyadenosine to mimic the adenosine deaminase-deficient state, were monitored to determine directly the effects on ribonucleotide reductase activity and levels. A low concentration of erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine, which did not inhibit cell growth, nevertheless retarded the cells in G2 + M phase of the cell cycle and increased reductase activity. Reductase activity was also elevated in cells treated with a low level of deoxyadenosine which did not affect the cell cycle or cell growth. However, ribonucleotide reductase activity was reduced to one-half of the control value in cells treated with either enough deoxyadenosine to inhibit cell growth or with a combination of erythro-9(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine and deoxyadenosine, each at concentrations which individually do not inhibit cell growth. Removal of deoxynucleotides, particularly dATP, from these extracts increased ribonucleotide reductase activity to several-fold higher than control values. The reduced activity of ribonucleotide reductase in the simulated adenosine deaminase-deficient HeLa cells provides direct evidence for the thesis that adenosine deaminase deficiency disease is mediated through elevated levels of dATP which inhibit ribonucleotide reductase. In addition, the cell cycle patterns and ribonucleotide reductase levels suggest that the regulatory substance(s) that controls the level of ribonucleotide reductase is not operative until the late S or G2 phase of the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8523-8528
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 25 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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