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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alkylation of DNA with aziridine produced during the hydrolysis of N,N',N''-triethylenethiophosphoramide.

A reaction pathway by which thiotepa (N,N',N''-triethylenethiophosphoramide) and tepa (N,N',N''-triethylenethiophosphoramide), its major metabolite in humans, alkylate and depurinate DNA involves hydrolysis to aziridine (ethylene imine), a highly reactive monofunctional alkylating agent. Hydrolytic cleavage of an N-P bond of thiotepa releases aziridine which reacts with DNA, resulting in depurination and formation of the stable N-7 adduct 7-(2-aminoethyl)guanine and an aminoethyl adduct of adenine. Chromatographically identical alkylated products were observed in the reaction of thiotepa and tepa with individual nucleosides. Adducts with deoxycytidine or thymidine were not detected. Aziridine was measured by HPLC after derivatization with 1,2-naphthoquinone 4-sulfate. On the basis of the identity of the DNA adducts and the rate of formation of aziridine by hydrolysis in vitro, thiotepa is concluded to be a lipophilic, stabilized form of aziridine which serves as a cell-penetrating carrier of aziridine.[1]


  1. Alkylation of DNA with aziridine produced during the hydrolysis of N,N',N''-triethylenethiophosphoramide. Musser, S.M., Pan, S.S., Egorin, M.J., Kyle, D.J., Callery, P.S. Chem. Res. Toxicol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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