The cancer chemotherapeutic agent cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) or cisplatin reacts primarily with guanines in DNA to form 1,2-Pt-GG and 1,3-Pt-GNG intrastrand cross-links and, to a lesser extent, G-G interstrand cross-links. Recent NMR evidence has suggested that cisplatin can also form a coordination complex with the phosphodiester internucleotide linkage of DNA. We have examined the effects of the phosphodiester backbone on the reactions of cisplatin with oligodeoxyribonucleotides that lack or contain a GTG sequence. Cisplatin forms a stable adduct with TpT that can be isolated by reversed phase HPLC. The cis-Pt-TpT adduct contains a single Pt, as determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and is resistant to digestion by snake venom phosphodiesterase. Treatment of the adduct with sodium cyanide regenerates TpT. Similar adduct formation was observed when T(pT)8 was treated with cisplatin, but not when the phosphodiester linkages of T(pT)8 were replaced with methylphosphonate groups. These results suggest that the platinum may be coordinated with the oxygens of the thymine and possibly with those of the phosphodiester group. As expected, reaction of a 9-mer containing a GTG sequence with cisplatin yielded an adduct that contained a 1,3-Pt-GTG intrastrand cross-link. However, we found that the number and placement of phosphodiesters surrounding a GTG sequence significantly affected intrastrand cross-link formation. Increasing the number of negatively charged phosphodiesters in the oligonucleotide increased the amount of GTG platination. Surrounding the GTG sequence with nonionic methylphosphonate linkages inhibited or eliminated cross-link formation. These observations suggest that interactions between cisplatin and the negatively charged phosphodiester backbone may play an important role in facilitating platination of guanine nucleotides in DNA.
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