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Cell Death Differ. 2002 Dec;9(12):1352-9.

Apoptosis and growth arrest induced by platinum compounds in U2-OS cells reflect a specific DNA damage recognition associated with a different p53-mediated response.

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Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Mononuclear and multinuclear platinum complexes are known to induce distinct types of DNA lesions and exhibit different profiles of antitumor activity, in relation to p53 mutational status. In this study, we investigated the cellular effects of exposure to two platinum compounds (cisplatin and the multinuclear platinum complex BBR 3464), in the osteosarcoma cell line, U2-OS, carrying the wild-type p53 gene and capable of undergoing apoptosis or cell cycle arrest in response to diverse genotoxic stresses. In spite of the ability of both compounds to up-regulate p53 at cytotoxic concentrations, exposure to BBR 3464 resulted in cell cycle arrest but only cisplatin was capable of inducing significant levels of apoptosis and phosphorylation at the Ser15 residue of p53. The cisplatin-induced protein phosphorylation, not detectable in cells treated with BBR 3464, was associated with RPA phosphorylation, a specific up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of p21(WAF1). Cells treated with BBR 3464 displayed a different cellular response with evidence of cytostasis associated with a high induction of p21(WAF1). The regulation of p21(WAF1) after cisplatin or BBR 3464 exposure required a p53 signal, as documented using stable transfectants expressing a dominant-negative form of p53 (175(his)). Taken together, these results indicate that cellular response to different genotoxic lesions (i.e. apoptosis or growth arrest) is associated with a specific recognition of DNA damage and a different p53-mediated signaling pathway. Multinuclear platinum complexes could be regarded as useful tools for investigating the p53-mediated process of cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage.

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