Tiazofurin is an oncolytic agent which has shown therapeutic activity in end-stage acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) and blast crisis of chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL-BC). Tiazofurin is anabolized to the active metabolite, thiazole-4-carboxamide adenine dinucleotide (TAD), which inhibits IMP dehydrogenase activity, leading to reduction of guanylate pools and cessation of cancer cell proliferation. The concentration of TAD in neoplastic cells of patients treated with tiazofurin should be a good indicator of sensitivity to the drug and also might herald the emergence of drug-resistant cells. Therefore, the precise quantitation of TAD in cancer cells during tiazofurin treatment is essential. In this paper we report a highly sensitive method for the determination of TAD in biological samples. With this technique, in addition to TAD, thirteen other biologically relevant adenine, guanine, cytosine and uridine nucleotides can be separated and quantitated accurately. TAD standard was separated on a Waters Partisil 10-SAX column in a RCM-10 module using an ammonium phosphate buffer system. TAD eluted at 21 min with a limit of detection of ISpmol and linearity up to 3nmol. The coefficient of variation was 0.6 ± 0.1% for retention time and 2 ± 0.3% for TAD concentration. Recovery of TAD was 96% with reproducibility of 98%. To examine the applicability of this method to a clinical setting, blood samples were obtained from a patient with CGL-BC and leukocytes were separated on a Ficoll-Hypaq gradient, extracted with trichloroacetic acid, and an aliquot was analyzed on HPLC. The TAD peak was identified by comparing the retention time and spectral analysis of the standard. After the patient was treated with a 2200 mg/m2 (12.7 mM) dose of tiazofurin, the TAD concentrations in the mononuclear cells at 2, 6, and 24 hr were 23.1, 13.6, and 0.8 μM. TAD levels at 2, 6, and 24 hr after a tiazofurin dose of 3300 mg/m2 (21.1 mM) were 42.8, 26.1, and 1.4 μM respectively.
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