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Research progresses of the mechanisms of thiopurine resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

FANG Hou-shun1,2, LI Hui2, YANG Fan2, AI Xiao-jie1, ZHOU Bin-bing2   

  1. 1.School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 201101, China; 2.Key Laboratory of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Ministry of Health, Pediatric Translational Medicine Institute, Shanghai Childrens Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, China
  • Online:2016-10-28 Published:2016-11-29
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, 81500112


Thiopurine is one type of common chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during remission. It must be metabolized and transformed to thioguanine nucleotides in vivo, which have the biological activity for killing tumor cells. Once key enzymes in thiopurine metabolic pathway develop single nucleotide polymorphisms or functional mutations, tumor cells will become resistant to thiopurine treatment and relapse will occur quickly. This article summarizes research progresses of metabolic enzyme mutations, which contribute to the thiopurine resistance in ALL, in order to provide novel ideas and strategies for overcoming the thiopurine resistance.

Key words: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, thiopurine, drug resistance, metabolic enzymes