Cancer Res 2009,
Racanelli, Alexandra C; Rothbart, Scott B; Heyer, Cortney L; Moran, Richard G
Pemetrexed represents the first antifolate cancer drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 20 years; it is currently in widespread use for first line therapy of mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer. Pemetrexed has more than one site of action; the primary site is thymidylate synthase. We now report that the secondary target is the downstream folate-dependent enzyme in de novo purine synthesis, aminoimidazolecarboxamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase (AICART). The substrate of the AICART reaction, ZMP, accumulated in intact pemetrexed-inhibited tumor cells, identifying AICART as the step in purine synthesis that becomes rate-limiting after drug treatment. The accumulating ZMP causes an activation of AMP-activated protein kinase with subsequent inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and hypophosphorylation of the downstream targets of mTOR that control initiation of protein synthesis and cell growth. We suggest that the activity of pemetrexed against human cancers is a reflection of its direct inhibition of folate-dependent target proteins combined with prolonged inhibition of the mTOR pathway secondary to accumulation of ZMP.
Diseases/Pathways annotated by Medline MESH:
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Lung Neoplasms, Mesothelioma, Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
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Text Mining Data
mammalian target of rapamycin ⊣ AMPK: " Therapeutics by cytotoxic metabolite accumulation : pemetrexed causes ZMP accumulation, AMPK
activation, and mammalian target of rapamycin
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