Modulation of Platinum Antitumor Drug Binding to DNA by Linked and Free Intercalators

Bruce E. Bowler, Stephen J. Lippard

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We report the DNA binding site preferences of the novel molecule AO-Pt, in which the anticancer drug dichloro(ethylenediamine)platinum(II) is linked by a hexamethylene chain to acridine orange. The sequence specificity of platinum binding was mapped by exonuclease III digestion of 165 and 335 base pair restriction fragments from pBR322 DNA. Parallel studies were carried out with the unmodified anticancer drugs cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (cis-DDP) and dichloro(ethylenediamine)platinum(II), [Pt(en)Cl2]. Oligo(dG) sequences are the most prevalent binding sites for AO-Pt, with secondary binding occurring mainly at d(AG) sites. cis-DDP and [Pt(en)Cl2] bind less readily to the secondary sequences, with cis-DDP showing greater binding site selectivity than [Pt(en)Cl2]. The DNA intercalator ethidium bromide promotes binding of [Pt(en)Cl2] and cis-DDP to many sites containing d(CGG) and, to a lesser extent, d(AG) sequences. AO-Pt exhibits enhanced binding to these sequences without the need for an external intercalator. Unlinked acridine orange, however, does not promote binding of [Pt(en)Cl2] and cis-DDP to d(CGG) and d(AG) sequences. These results are discussed in terms of the sequence preferences, stereochemistry, and relative residence times of the intercalators at their DNA binding sites. By modulating local structure in a sequence-dependent manner, both linked and, in the case of ethidium, free intercalators can influence the regioselectivity of covalent modification of DNA by platinum antitumor drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3031-3038
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1986


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