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The effect ofl-amino acid oxidase on activity of melphalan against an intracranial xenograft


We have previously shown that diet restriction-induced depletion of large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) in murine plasma to 46% of control significantly enhances intracranial delivery of melphalan without enhancing delivery to other organs. Studies have now been conducted to determine whether more substantial LNAA depletion could further enhance intracranial delivery of melphalan. Treatment with Lamino acid oxidase (LOX) significantly depleted murine plasma LNAAs: phenylalanine, leucine, and tyrosine (>95%); methionine (83%); isoleucine (70%); and valine (46%). Experiments evaluating the intracellular uptake of melphalan and high-pressure liquid chromatography quantitation of melphalan metabolites revealed, however, that melphalan is rapidly degraded in the presence of LOX, and that the timing of the administration of melphalan following the use of LOX to deplete LNAAs is crucial. Conditions were found under which LOX-mediated degradation of melphalan was minimized and LNAA depletion was maximized, resulting in a potentiation of the antitumor effect of melphalan on human glioma xenografts in nude mice. Such potentiation could not be obtained using diet restriction alone.

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Correspondence to Henry S. Friedman.

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Rich, J.N., Elion, G.B., Wellner, D. et al. The effect ofl-amino acid oxidase on activity of melphalan against an intracranial xenograft. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 36, 379–384 (1995).

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Key words

  • Melphalan
  • l-Amino acid oxidase
  • Large neutral amino acids