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

Effects of the bifunctional antitumor intercalator ditercalinium on DNA in mouse leukemia L1210 cells and DNA topoisomerase II.

Ditercalinium, a 7H-pyridocarbazole dimer (bisintercalator) belongs to a new class of antineoplastic intercalating agents. To investigate its mechanism of cytotoxicity, the effects of ditercalinium on DNA were assessed using normal (L1210) and drug-resistant (L1210/PyDi1) mouse leukemia cells. Alkaline elution assays demonstrated that ditercalinium produced no DNA strand breaks, DNA-protein cross-links, or DNA-DNA cross-links, eliminating these effects as cytotoxic lesions. This result sets ditercalinium apart from other intercalating agents with respect to its interaction with DNA. Nucleoids (histone-depleted chromatin) from ditercalinium-treated L1210 cells were considerably more compact than those from untreated cells, as determined by sedimentation in neutral sucrose gradients. In contrast, nucleoids from ditercalinium-treated L1210/PyDi1 (resistant) cells were similar in compactness to those from control cells. Thus, ditercalinium altered chromatin structure in vivo. The effect of the bisintercalator on purified DNA topoisomerase II, an intracellular target of monointercalators, was measured in vitro. Ditercalinium (5 X 10(-7) M) completely inhibited both the formation of covalent complexes between this enzyme and simian virus 40 DNA and the enzyme-induced DNA cleavage. In addition, ditercalinium induced DNA catenation in the presence of topoisomerase II and adenosine triphosphate. Thus, the cytotoxicity of ditercalinium may derive from a mechanism that, although involving topoisomerase II, is manifested by condensation of DNA rather than by the induction of protein-associated DNA strand breaks.[1]


  1. Effects of the bifunctional antitumor intercalator ditercalinium on DNA in mouse leukemia L1210 cells and DNA topoisomerase II. Markovits, J., Pommier, Y., Mattern, M.R., Esnault, C., Roques, B.P., Le Pecq, J.B., Kohn, K.W. Cancer Res. (1986) [Pubmed]
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