PNP inhibitors selectively kill cancer cells lacking SAMHD1.
Davenne T., Rehwinkel J.
Purine nucleoside phosphorylase inhibitors (PNP-Is) were developed to ablate transformed lymphocytes. However, only some patients with leukemia benefit from PNP-Is. We provide a molecular explanation: the deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) hydrolase SAM and HD domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) prevents the accumulation of toxic dNTP levels during purine nucleoside phosphorylase inhibition. We propose PNP-Is for targeted therapy of patients with acquired SAMHD1 mutations.