We have investigated the cytotoxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae of the novel antitumor agent 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP). 3-BP enters the yeast cells through the lactate/pyruvate H(+) symporter Jen1p and inhibits cell growth at minimal inhibitory concentration of 1.8 mM when grown on non-glucose conditions. It is not submitted to the efflux pumps conferring Pleiotropic Drug Resistance in yeast. Yeast growth is more sensitive to 3-BP than Gleevec (Imatinib methanesulfonate) which in contrast to 3-BP is submitted to the PDR network of efflux pumps. The sensitivity of yeast to 3-BP is increased considerably by mutations or chemical treatment by buthionine sulfoximine that decrease the intracellular concentration of glutathione.
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