Structural characterization and DNA interactions of new cytotoxic transplatin analogues containing one planar and one nonplanar heterocyclic amine ligand
trans-Diaminedicholoroplatinum(II) complexes with one planar and one non-planar heterocyclic amine ligand were designed as new potential antitumor drugs. The X-ray crystallographic structures of trans-[PtCl2(4-picoline)(piperidine)] and trans-[PtCl2(4-picoline)(piperazine)]center dot HCl revealed that the piperidine and piperazine ligands bind to the platinum through the equatorial position and that the ligands adopt the chair conformation. The nonplatinated amine of the piperazine can form hydrogen bonds with atoms that are approximately 7.5 angstrom away from the Pt binding site. DNA is considered a major pharmacological target of platinum compounds. Hence, to expand the database correlating structural features of platinum compounds and DNA distortions induced by these compounds, which may facilitate identification of more effective anticancer platinum drugs, we describe the DNA binding mode in a cell-free medium of trans-[PtCl2(4-picoline)(piperidine)] and trans-[PtCl2(4-picoline)(piperazine)]center dot HCl. Interestingly, the overall impact of the replacement of the second ammine group in transplatin by the heterocyclic ligands appears to change the character of the global conformational changes induced in DNA towards that induced by cisplatin. The clinical ineffectiveness of the parent transplatin has been proposed to be also associated with its reduced capability to form bifunctional adducts in double-helical DNA. The results of the present work support the view that replacement of both ammine groups of transplatin by heterocyclic ligands enhances cytotoxicity probably due to the marked enhancement of the stability of intrastrand cross-links in double-helical DNA.