Optimizing the dosing schedule of L-asparaginase improves its anti-tumor activity in breast tumor-bearing mice

Shoya Shiromizu, Naoki Kusunose, Naoya Matsunaga, Satoru Koyanagi, Shigehiro Ohdo

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Proliferation of acute lymphoblastic leukemic cells is nutritionally dependent on the external supply of asparagine. L-asparaginase, an enzyme hydrolyzing L-asparagine in blood, is used for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemic and other related blood cancers. Although previous studies demonstrated that L-asparaginase suppresses the proliferation of cultured solid tumor cells, it remains unclear whether this enzyme prevents the growth of solid tumors in vivo. In this study, we demonstrated the importance of optimizing dosing schedules for the anti-tumor activity of L-asparaginase in 4T1 breast tumor-bearing mice. Cultures of several types of murine solid tumor cells were dependent on the external supply of asparagine. Among them, we selected murine 4T1 breast cancer cells and implanted them into BALB/c female mice kept under standardized light/dark cycle conditions. The growth of 4T1 tumor cells implanted in mice was significantly suppressed by intravenous administration of L-asparaginase during the light phase, whereas its administration during the dark phase failed to show significant anti-tumor activity. Decreases in plasma asparagine levels due to the administration of L-asparaginase were closely related to the dosing time-dependency of its anti-tumor effects. These results suggest that the anti-tumor efficacy of L-asparaginase in breast tumor-bearing mice is improved by optimizing the dosing schedule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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