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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2013, Article ID 786162, 7 pages
Research Article

E. coli-Derived L-Asparaginase Retains Enzymatic and Cytotoxic Activity In Vitro for Canine and Feline Lymphoma after Cold Storage

Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hazelwood Drive, Urbana, IL 61802, USA

Received 12 December 2012; Accepted 15 March 2013

Academic Editor: Sagar M. Goyal

Copyright © 2013 Jackie M. Wypij and Holly C. Pondenis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. L-asparaginase is effective in treating canine and feline lymphoma, however chemotherapy poses a significant financial cost to veterinary clients, limiting therapy for many pets. Single dose vials result in significant drug wastage, and drug shortages limit consistent availability for pets. Hypothesis. E. coli-derived asparaginase retains enzymatic and antineoplastic activity in canine and feline lymphoma cells after cold storage. Methods. E. coli-derived asparaginase was cold-stored: refrigeration (7–14 days) and freezing (14 days–six months, one to three freeze/thaw cycles). Enzymatic activity of asparaginase was measured via a modified asparagine assay. Effects of cold-stored asparaginase on cell proliferation and cytotoxicity were measured in feline (MYA-1, F1B) and canine (17–71, OSW) lymphoma cells. Results. Cold-stored E. coli-derived asparaginase retains antineoplastic activity in all four cell lines tested. Cold-stored E. coli-derived L-asparaginase depletes asparagine and retains enzymatic activity. Duration of refrigeration, duration of freezing, and number of freeze-thaw cycles have minimal effect on asparaginase enzyme activity. Conclusions and Clinical Importance. This study establishes a scientific basis for long-term cold storage of reconstituted E. coli-derived asparaginase that may result in better utilization of limited drug resources and improve financial feasibility of E. coli-derived asparaginase as a therapeutic option for pets with lymphoma.