Analysis of cytotoxicities of platinum compounds

Jerry Goodisman, Douglas Hagrman, Kirk A. Tacka, Abdul Kader Souid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Extent of DNA platination, loss of cell viability, DNA fragmentation, and impairment of cellular mitochondrial oxygen consumption are measures of drug cytotoxicity. We measured and compared these effects for cisplatin, oxaliplatin and carboplatin. Because reaction with intracellular thiols may be responsible for drug resistance, we also determined the rates of Pt drug reactions with metallothionein. Jurkat cells were exposed at 37°C to 25 μM Pt drugs for 3 h. Pt-DNA adducts were determined at the end of the incubation period by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Viability, DNA fragmentation, and cellular respiration (μM O2/ min/106 cells) were determined 24 h post drug exposure. The average amount of Pt-DNA adducts (Pt atoms/10 6 nucleotides) produced by cisplatin was 43.4, by oxaliplatin 4.8 and by carboplatin 1.5. Cisplatin decreased the rate of respiration by ∼63% and oxaliplatin by ∼37%. DNA fragmentation by cisplatin and oxaliplatin was very similar. Carboplatin produced an unnoticeable effect on cellular respiration, and only ∼10% of the DNA fragmentation was produced by cisplatin or oxaliplatin. Although, for a given drug, all four measures of cytotoxicity were proportional, this did not hold for comparisons between the drugs. The rate constants (M-1 s-1) for reaction of cisplatin, oxaliplatin and carboplatin with Cd/Zn thionein were 0.75, 0.44 and 0.012, respectively. For comparison, the rate constants (M-1 s -1) for reaction of cisplatin, oxaliplatin and carboplatin with glutathione were 0.027, 0.038 and 0.0012, respectively. The low reactivity of carboplatin with metallothionein and glutathione suggests that its low cytotoxic activities are not due to reaction of Pt2+ with cellular thiols. Despite a tenfold difference in Pt-DNA adducts between cisplatin and oxaliplatin, the cytotoxicities of these compounds are very similar, suggesting that oxaliplatin lesions are more potent than cisplatin lesions. The results demonstrate a large influence of the ligands occupying Pt coordination spheres on the chemical and biologic activities of Pt drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Carboplatin
  • Cd/Zn-thionein
  • Cisplatin
  • Glutathione
  • Oxaliplatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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