For Jurkat cells in culture exposed to cisplatin (1), we measured the number of platinum adducts on DNA and showed that it is proportional to the AUC, the area under the concentration vs time curve, for cisplatin. The number of platinum-DNA adducts is measured immediately following exposure to drug. The AUC is calculated either as the product of the initial cisplatin concentration and the exposure time or as the integral under the concentration vs time curve for the unreacted dichloro species, which decreases exponentially. We also show that the number of adducts correlates with decreases in respiration, with the amount of DNA fragmentation, and with cell viability, all measured 24 h after exposure to the drug. To study the reactions of cisplatin at concentrations approaching clinical relevance (65 μM), we use two-dimensional [1H 15N]HSQC NMR and the 15N-labeled form of the drug, cis-Pt(15NH3)2Cl2, 1. In the absence of cells, 1 reacts with components of the growth medium and also transforms slowly (kh = 0.205 h-1 at 37 °C) into the chloro-aquo species, cis-[Pt(15NH3)2Cl(H 2O)]+ (2), which at the pH of the medium (pH 7.15), is mainly in the deprotonated chloro-hydroxy form, cis-Pt(15NH 3)2-Cl(OH) (4). The concentration of 2 (4), as measured by HSQC NMR, decreases due to reaction with components of the medium. In the presence of 5 million or more cells, the concentration of 1 decreases with time, but the NMR signal for 2 (4) is not seen because it is rapidly removed from solution by the cells, keeping its concentration very low. These experiments confirm that the species preferentially removed from the medium by cells is 2 (4) and not 1. Our findings are discussed in the context of a kinetic model for platination of nuclear DNA by cisplatin, which includes aquation of cisplatin outside the cell, passage of 2 (4) through the cell membrane, reaction of reactive platinum species (RPS) in the cytosol with thiols, formation of adducts between RPS and accessible sites on genomic DNA, and removal of platinum from DNA by repair. Some of the rate constants involved are measured, but others can only be estimated. Calculations with this model show that little of the platinum reacts with intracellular thiols before reaching the nuclear DNA, indicating that binding to thiols is not important in cisplatin resistance. The model also predicts the circumstances under which the amount of platination of nuclear DNA is proportional to AUC.
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