2-deoxy-D-glucose inhibits the antitumor effects of α-difluoromethylornithine on the growth of colon cancer in vivo

Rami Saydjari, James R. Upp, Robert W. Alexander, Sam C. Barranco, Courtney M. Townsend, James C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The glycolytic inhibitor, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), has been shown to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. α-Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) is an irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the ratelimiting enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis. DFMO has been shown to inhibit cancer growth in a number of models. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of 2-DG alone and combined with DFMO on MC-26 mouse colon adenocarcinoma tumors growing in vivo. Twenty-eight male Balb/c mice were inoculated with 250,000 MC-26 cells, and then randomized into four groups of 7 each: group I served as control; group II received DFMO (3% in drinking water); group III received 2-DG (500 mg/kg/d IP); group IV received a combination of 2-DG and DFMO. Treatment began 5 days after tumor cell inoculation. MC-26 tumor area was reduced 73% by DFMO compared to a 24% reduction caused by 2-DG. The tumor weight was reduced 80% by DFMO and 52% by 2-DG. The tumor contents of DNA, RNA, and protein were significantly reduced by DFMO but not 2-DG. The tumor concentration of the polyamines putrescine and spermidine were reduced by DFMO alone or combined with 2-DG while spermine levels remained unchanged. 2-DG alone did not alter polyamine levels. These results indicate that both 2-DG and DFMO, when added as single agents, inhibit tumor growth. However, the addition of 2-DG to the DFMO regimen inhibited the antitumor effects of DFMO. Survival studies performed on MC-26 cells in vitro corroborated the antagonisms between DFMO and 2-DG that were shown in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-deoxy-D-glucose
  • cancer
  • polyamines
  • α-difluoromethylornithine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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