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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 25;105(47):18314-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803094105. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

Non-DNA-binding platinum anticancer agents: Cytotoxic activities of platinum-phosphato complexes towards human ovarian cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 27;106(4):1292. Milton, Tara [corrected to Salley, Tara].


DNA is believed to be the molecular target for the cytotoxic activities of platinum (Pt) anticancer drugs. We report here a class of platinum(II)- and platinum(IV)-pyrophosphato complexes that exhibit cytotoxicity comparable with and, in some cases, better than cisplatin in ovarian cell lines (A2780, A2780/C30, and CHO), yet they do not show any evidence of covalent binding to DNA. Moreover, some of these compounds are quite effective in cisplatin- and carboplatin-resistant cell line A2780/C30. The lack of DNA binding was demonstrated by the absence of a detectable Pt signal by atomic absorption spectroscopy using isolated DNA from human ovarian cells treated with a platinum(II)-pyrophosphato complex, (trans-1,2-cyclohexanediamine)(dihydrogen pyrophosphato) platinum(II), (pyrodach-2) and from NMR experiments using a variety of nucleotides including single- and double-stranded DNA. Furthermore, pyrodach-2 exhibited reduced cellular accumulations compared with cisplatin in cisplatin- and carboplatin-resistant human ovarian cells, yet the IC(50) value for the pyrophosphato complex was much less than that of cisplatin. Moreover, unlike cisplatin, pyrodach-2 treated cells overexpressed fas and fas-related transcription factors and some proapoptotic genes such as Bak and Bax. Data presented in this report collectively indicate that pyrodach-2 follows different cytotoxic mechanisms than does cisplatin. Unlike cisplatin, pyrodach-2 does not undergo aquation during 1 week and is quite soluble and stable in aqueous solutions. Results presented in this article represent a clear paradigm shift not only in expanding the molecular targets for Pt anticancer drugs but also in strategic development for more effective anticancer drugs.

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