L-asparaginases of agouti serum and Escherichia coli cause a profound lowering in the level of free asparagine in the blood of treated mice and also in the tissues. During treatment, normal tissues and resistant 6C3HED lymphomas survive unharmed with intracellular asparagine levels which are critically low for sensitive lymphomas. An explanation for this contrast between the two types of lymphoma is provided by the finding that resistant cells have not only a higher asparagine synthetic capacity than sensitive cells but appear able to utilize endogenous asparagine preferentially for protein synthesis. Cell-free extracts of resistant cells contain an asparaginase synthetase, but this is not found in preparations from sensitive cells.

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