Cytotoxicity of N4-behenoyl-1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine through gradual conversion to 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine in HeLa cells

Y. Maehara, T. Kusumoto, Y. Sakaguchi, H. Kusumoto, H. Anai, K. Sugimachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The metabolism of 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C) and N4-behenoyl-1β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (BH-AC) was studied in HeLa cells. After the cells were exposed to ara-C at a concentration of 20 μg/ml or BH-AC at 46.5 μg/ml for 1, 3, 6, 12 or 24 hr, the level of ara-C was determined using the radioimmunoassay method, and the level of BH-AC and 1-β-D-arabinofuranosyluracil (ara-U), using high-performance liquid chromatography. In the ara-C-treated cells, the intracellular ara-C increased to 1.26 μg/g cells after exposure for 6 hr, and ara-C was rapidly changed to ara-U in the cells and in the medium. In the BH-AC-treated cells, the intracellular BH-AC increased after exposure for 24 hr and BH-AC was gradually converted to ara-C in the cells: the intracellular level of ara-C was only 15% of that of BH-AC after exposure for 24 hr. BH-AC level in the medium persisted for 24 hr, at the initial concentration. Our findings show that BH-AC is stable compared to ara-C and gradually converts to ara-C. This conversion is presumably a critical step in the antineoplastic effect of BH-AC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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