The binding of platinum (II)-terpyridine complexes to DNA was studied by using equilibrium dialysis. Optical absorption methods were used to measure the ability of the ligands to aggregate in aqueous buffer. Scatchard plots for the binding of the monomeric [Pt(terpy)SC4H9]+ cation to DNA at I0.01 are curvilinear, concave upwards, suggesting two modes of binding. The association constant decreases at higher ionic strengths, consistent with polyelectrolyte theory, and 1.1 cations are released per bound ligand molecule. The association constants of the binuclear ligands [Pt(terpy)S[CH2]4S(terpy)Pt]2+ and [Pt(terpy)S[CH2]6S(terpy)Pt]2+ are 8 and 23 times larger respectively than the affinity of the monomer. For the latter binuclear derivative the increase may be ascribed to bifunctional reaction. Differential dialysis experiments with DNAs of differing base composition show that [Pt(terpy)SC4H9]+ has a requirement for a single G X C base-pair at the highest-affinity site. However, in the binuclear ligands chromophore specificity is severely compromised. Similar experiments indicate that 9-aminoacridine and selected methylene-linked diacridines show no significant sequence selectivity.
A series of binuclear DNA-binding ligands was prepared by linking two (2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine)platinum(II) moieties via alpha omega-dithiols of the type HS-[CH2]n-SH where n = 4-10. A monomeric analogue was also synthesized. Compounds were characterized by elemental analysis and electronic and n.m.r. spectroscopy. Viscometric measurements with sonicated rod-like DNA fragments and covalently closed circular DNA were performed to investigate the mode of binding of these agents. The ligands with n = 5 and 6 function as bis intercalators and form a single ‘base-pair sandwich’ in violation of neighbour-exclusion binding. Bifunctional reaction occurs for the ligand with n = 7, whereas the ligands with n = 8 and 10 show a preference for mixed monofunctional/bifunctional binding. The data do not permit definitive assignment of the binding mode of the ligands with n = 4 and 9. All compounds are growth-inhibitory against mouse leukaemia L1210 cells in culture with IC50 values in the range 2-14 microM.
The intracellular DNA damage produced by a series of diacridines after a 2 h pulse treatment of L1210 cells in culture was investigated by using the alkaline-elution technique. Like other intercalating agents, diacridines produce single-strand breaks and protein-DNA links. There is a large increase in both types of damage as the alkane chain linking the two 9-aminoacridine residues is increased beyond five methylene groups, which is consistent with the previously observed change from monofunctional to bifunctional intercalation [Wakelin, Romanos, Chen, Glaubiger, Canellakis & Waring (1978) Biochemistry 17, 5057-5063]. For linker chains of less than six methylene groups these agents produce less DNA damage than does the parent 9-aminoacridine at the same drug concentration. Unlike the monofunctional intercalators previously investigated [Ross, Glaubiger & Kohn (1979) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 562, 41-50; Zwelling, Michaels, Erickson, Ungerleider, Nichols & Kohn (1981) Biochemistry 20, 6553-6563; Zwelling, Kerrigan & Michaels (1982) Cancer Res. 42, 2687-2691; Zwelling, Michaels, Kerrigan, Pommier & Kohn (1982) Biochem. Pharmacol. 31, 3261-3267], there is no correlation between the number of single-strand breaks and protein-DNA links produced by these diacridines.
The interaction between a novel aromatic thiolato derivative from the family of DNA-intercalating platinum complexes, phenylthiolato-(2,2′,2″-terpyridine)platinum(II)-[PhS(ter py)Pt+], and nucleic acids was studied by using viscosity, equilibrium-dialysis and kinetic measurements. Viscosity measurements with sonicated DNA provide direct evidence for intercalation, and show that at binding ratios below 0.2 molecules per base-pair PhS(terpy)Pt+ causes an increase in contour length of 0.2 nm per bound molecule. However, helix extension diminishes at greater extents of binding, indicating the existence of additional, non-intercalated, externally bound forms of the ligand. The ability of PhS(terpy)Pt+ to aggregate in neutral aqueous buffers at a range of ionic strengths and temperatures was assessed by using optical-absorption methods. Scatchard plots for binding to calf thymus DNA at ionic strength 0.01 (corrected for dimerization) are curvilinear, concave upward, providing further evidence for two modes of binding. The association constant decreases at higher ionic strengths, in accord with the expectations of polyelectrolyte theory, although the number of cations released per bound unipositive ligand molecule is substantially greater than 1. Stopped-flow kinetic measurements confirm the complexity of the binding reaction by revealing multiple bound forms of the ligand whose kinetic processes are both fast and closely coupled. Thermal denaturation of DNA radically alters the shapes of binding isotherms and either has little effect on, or enhances, the affinity of potential binding sites, depending on experimental conditions. Scatchard plots for binding to natural DNA species with differing nucleotide composition show that the ligand has a requirement for a single G X C base-pair at the highest-affinity intercalation sites.