Inhibition of the glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit with buthionine sulfoximine enhances the cytotoxic effect of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in Burkitt lymphoma cells

Marta Kazimierska, Aleksandra Leśniewska, Anja Bakker, Arjan Diepstra, Marta Elżbieta Kasprzyk, Marta Podralska, Karolina Rassek, Joost Kluiver, Anke van den Berg, Natalia Rozwadowska, Agnieszka Dzikiewicz-Krawczyk*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

4 Downloads (Pure)


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a highly aggressive lymphoma that mainly affects children and young adults. Chemotherapy is effective in young BL patients but the outcome in adults is less satisfactory. Therefore, there is a need to enhance the cytotoxic effect of drugs used in BL treatment. Glutathione (GSH) is an important antioxidant involved in processes such as regulation of oxidative stress and drug detoxification. Elevated GSH levels have been observed in many cancers and were associated with chemoresistance. We previously identified GCLC, encoding an enzyme involved in GSH biosynthesis, as an essential gene in BL. We now confirm that knockout of GCLC decreases viability of BL cells and that the GCLC protein is overexpressed in BL tissues. Moreover, we demonstrate that buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a known inhibitor of GCLC, decreases growth of BL cells but does not affect control B cells. Furthermore, we show for the first time that BSO enhances the cytotoxicity of compounds commonly used in BL treatment, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide. Given the fact that BSO itself was not toxic to control cells and well-tolerated in clinical trials, combination of chemotherapy with BSO may allow reduction of the doses of cytotoxic drugs required to obtain effective responses in BL patients.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Applied Genetics
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2-nov.-2023

Citeer dit