L1210 cell line cells were made deficient in Cbl by propagation in a medium devoid of CNCbl in which fetal calf serum had been replaced by bovine serum albumin. These Cbl-deficient cells gradually ceased to multiply when the medium contained 5-CH3THF, although cell growth was resumed following the addition of CNCbl, OHCbl or folic acid. The results of this study provide experimental proof for the ‘methyl trap’ hypothesis. In contrast to the above effect of CNCbl, cobinamide and Cbl analogues which were produced by a reaction of OHCbl with ascorbic acid did not have any growth-inducing effect on the cells which had been cultured in a 5-CH3THF-supplemented medium and had ceased to multiply. Nor did these analogues have an inhibitory effect on CNCbl-dependent growth.

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