Hydroxyurea: Differential Lethal Effects on Cultured Mammalian Cells during the Cell Cycle

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Science  24 Dec 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3704, pp. 1729-1731
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3704.1729


Hydroxyurea has a differential lethal effect on cultured Chinesehamster cells that are at different stages in their cell cycle. Cells synthesizing DNA at the time of exposure to the drug are lethally damaged. Cells in the phase of growth preceding DNA synthesis (G1) survive but are prevented from beginning DNA synthesis. Cells in the phase after DNA synthesis (G2) survive and appear to progress until just before the beginning of the next period of DNA synthesis. This differential lethal and inhibitory effect of hydroxyurea may be useful for synchronizing asynchronous cell populations and explaining effects of the drug in human therapy.