Research Summary: A Ham1p-Dependent Mechanism and Modulation of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Pathway Can Both Confer Resistance to 5-Fluorouracil in Yeast


5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is an anticancer drug and pyrimidine analogue. A problem in 5-FU therapy is acquired resistance to the drug. To find out more about the mechanisms of resistance, we screened a plasmid library in yeast for genes that confer 5-FU resistance when overexpressed. We cloned five genes: CPA1, CPA2, HMS1, HAM1 and YJL055W. CPA1 and CPA2 encode a carbamoyl phosphate synthase involved in arginine biosynthesis and HMS1 a helix-loop-helix transcription factor. Our results suggest that CPA1, CPA2, and HMS1 confer 5-FU resistance by stimulating pyrimidine biosynthesis. Thus, they are unable to confer 5-FU resistance in a ura2 mutant, and inhibit the uptake and incorporation into RNA of both uracil and 5-FU. In contrast, HAM1 and YJL055W confer 5-FU resistance in a ura2 mutant, and selectively inhibit incorporation into RNA of 5-FU but not uracil. HAM1 is the strongest resistance gene, but it partially depends on YJL055W for its function. This suggests that HAM1 and YJL055W function together in mediating resistance to 5-FU. Ham1p encodes an inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase that has been implicated in resistance to purine analogues. Our results suggest that Ham1p could have a broader specificity that includes 5-FUTP and other pyrimidine analogoue triphosphates.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 4-October-2013

Author(s): Carlsson M., Gustavsson M., Hu G., Murén E., Ronne H.


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