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Anticancer Drug Des. 2001 Apr-Jun;16(2-3):99-107.

DNA binding properties of the indolocarbazole antitumor drug NB-506.

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Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Antitumorale du Centre Oscar Lambret and INSERM UR-524, IRCL, Lille, France.


Indolocarbazoles derived from the antibiotic rebeccamycin represent an important group of antitumor agents. Several indolocarbazoles are currently undergoing clinical trials. These compounds inhibit topoisomerase 1 to produce DNA breaks that are responsible for cell death. Unlike classical topoisomerase I poisons like camptothecin, glycosyl indolocarbazoles can form stable complexes with DNA even in the absence of topoisomerase I. At least in part, their mode of action is reminiscent of that of the anthracyclines, which also bind to nucleic acids and interfere with topoisomerase II. The lead synthetic compound in the series is the uncharged drug NB-506, which bears a glucose residue attached to the indolocarbazole chromophore substituted with two hydroxyl groups at positions 1 and 11. Here we report a detailed biophysical study aimed at characterizing the DNA binding properties of NB-506. Molecular modeling was used to compare the conformation and electronic properties of NB-506 and its analogue ED-571 bearing the two hydroxyl groups at positions 2 and 10. Surface plasmon resonance experiments, performed with DNA hairpin oligomers, indicate that NB-506 binds almost equally well to both AT and GC base pairs, and the binding affinity (K = 10(5) M(-1)) is similar to that of certain classical intercalators such as amsacrine and bisantrene. Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments show that the binding of NB-506 is enthalpy-driven (deltaH = -7.2 kcal/mol). The binding enthalpy measured for NB-506 is similar to that obtained with doxorubicin but the DNA interaction processes for the two drugs differ markedly in terms of entropy and deltaG. The free energy of NB-506 binding to DNA is considerably less favorable than that of doxorubicin. These biophysical data help us to understand further how rebeccamycin-type anticancer drugs interact with DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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