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Biochem Pharmacol. 1984 Oct 15;33(20):3137-42.

Two mechanisms of adriamycin-DNA interaction in L1210 cells.


Among the effects exerted by adriamycin (ADR), interaction with DNA is closely related to cytotoxicity. The interaction results in the formation of protein-associated DNA single-strand breaks (PA-SSB) and, at drug levels greater than or equal to 2.8 X 10(-6) M, also in "direct" (nonenzymatic) DNA single-strand breaks (D-SSB). To characterize the two types of DNA lesions, euoxic mouse leukemia L1210 cells were treated with various antioxidant agents in the presence of 2.8 X 10(-6), X 10(-5), or X 10(-4) M concentrations of ADR. The enzymes superoxide dismutase (200 micrograms/ml) or catalase (250 micrograms/ml), the OH' scavengers dimethyl sulfoxide (70 mM) or ethanol (70 mM), and an inhibitor of superoxide production, 2-deoxy-glucose (1 and 10 mM), reduced the frequency of D-SSB to 18.3 to 68.2% of its level in ADR-treated controls, while the frequency of PA-SSB remained unchanged. These observations seem to indicate that ADR-mediated free radicals cause discernible DNA damage in euoxic cells only at very high drug concentrations, greater than the peak plasma level achievable clinically following i.v. bolus. At lower ADR levels, relevant to clinical use, another type of interaction between the drug and DNA prevails, which apparently does not involve a free-radical mechanism.

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