Steric control of DNA interstrand cross-link sites of trans platinum complexes: specificity can be dictated by planar nonleaving groups
Recent findings that novel trans-dichloroplatinum(II) complexes exhibit antitumor activity violate the classical structure-activity relationships of platinum(II) complexes. These novel "nonclassical" trans platinum complexes also comprise those containing planar aromatic amines. initial studies have shown that these compounds form a considerable amount of DNA interstrand cross-links (up to similar to 30%) with a rate markedly higher than clinically ineffective transplatin. The present work has shown, using Maxam-Gilbert footprinting, that trans-[PtCl2(NH3)(quinoline)] and trans-[PtCl2(NH3)(thiazole)], representatives of the group of new antitumor trans-dichloroplatinum complexes containing planar amines, preferentially form DNA interstrand cross-links between guanine residues at the 5'-GC-3' sites. Thus, DNA interstrand cross-linking by trans-[PtCl2(NH3)(quinoline)] and trans-[PtCl2(NH3)(thiazole)] is formally equivalent to that by antitumor cisplatin, but different from clinically ineffective transplatin which preferentially forms these adducts between complementary guanine and cytosine residues. This result shows for the first time that simple chemical modification of the structure of an inactive compound alters its DNA binding site into a DNA adduct of an active drug.