In situ analysis of cisplatin binding to DNA: The effects of physiological ionic conditions

Jin Sung Park, Sook Ho Kim, Nam Kyung Lee, Kyoung J. Lee, Seok Cheol Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Platinum-based anti-cancer drugs form a major family of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Cisplatin, the first member of the family, remains a potent anti-cancer drug and exhibits its clinical effect by inducing local DNA kinks and subsequently interfering with DNA metabolism. Although its mechanism is reasonably well understood, effects of intracellular ions on cisplatin activity are left to be elucidated because cisplatin binding to DNA, thus its drug efficacy, is modified by various ions. One such issue is the effect of carbonate ions: cisplatin binding to DNA is suppressed under physiological carbonate conditions. Here, we examined the role of common cellular ions (carbonate and chloride) by measuring cisplatin binding in relevant physiological buffers via a DNA micromanipulation technique. Using two orthogonal single-molecule methods, we succeeded in detecting hidden monofunctional adducts (kink-free, presumably clinically inactive form) and clearly showed that the major effect of carbonates was to form such adducts and to prevent them from converting to bifunctional adducts (kinked, clinically active). The chloride-rich environment also led to the formation of monofunctional adducts. Our approach is widely applicable to the study of the transient behaviours of various drugs and proteins that bind to DNA in different modes depending on various physical and chemical factors such as tension, torsion, ligands, and ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3128-3133
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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