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See detailCovalent binding of antitumor benzoacronycines to double-stranded DNA induces helix opening and the formation of single-stranded DNA: Unique consequences of a novel DNA-bonding mechanism
David-Cordonnier, MH; Laine, W; Lansiaux, A et al

in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (2005), 4(1), 71-80

The majority of DNA-binding small molecules known thus far stabilize duplex DNA against heat denaturation. A high, drug-induced increase in the melting temperature (T-m) of DNA is generally viewed as a ... [more ▼]

The majority of DNA-binding small molecules known thus far stabilize duplex DNA against heat denaturation. A high, drug-induced increase in the melting temperature (T-m) of DNA is generally viewed as a good criterion to select DNA ligands and is a common feature of several anticancer drugs such as intercalators (e.g., anthracyclines) and alkylators (e.g., ecteinascidin 743). The reverse situation (destabilization of DNA to facilitate its denaturation) may be an attractive option for the identification of therapeutic agents acting on the DNA structure. We have identified the tumor-active benzoacronycine derivative S23906-1 [(+/-)-cis-1, 2-diacetoxy-6-methoxy-3,3,14-trimethyl 1,2,3,14-tetrahydro-7H-benzo[b]pyrano[3,2]acridin-7- one] as a potent DNA alkylating agent endowed with a helicase-like activity. Using complementary molecular approaches, we show that covalent binding to DNA of the diacetate compound S23906-1 and its monoacetate analogue S28687-1 induces a marked destabilization of the double helix with the formation of alkylated ssDNA. The DNA-bonding properties and effects on DNA structure of a series of benzoacronycine derivatives, including the dicarbamate analogue S29385-1, were studied using complementary biochemical (electromobility shift assay, nuclease S1 mapping) and spectroscopic (fluorescence and T-m measurements) approaches. Alkylation of guanines in DNA by S28687-1 leads to a local denaturation of DNA, which becomes susceptible to cleavage by nuclease S1 and significantly decreases the T-m of DNA. The drug also directly alkylates single-strand DNA, but mass spectrometry experiments indicate that guanines in duplexes are largely preferred over single-stranded structures. This molecular study expands the repertoire of DNA-binding mechanisms and provides a new dimension for DNA recognition by small molecules. [less ▲]

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See detailApoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells induced by the bisindole alkaloids sungucine and isosungucine from Strychnos icaja
Lansiaux, A.; Bailly, Christian; Houssier, Claude ULg et al

in Planta Medica (2002), 68(7), 591-595

Sungucine and isosungucine are two bisindole alkaloids isolated from the roots of the African plant Strychnos icaja Baillon. They both exhibit antiplasmodial activities but also show cytotoxic effects ... [more ▼]

Sungucine and isosungucine are two bisindole alkaloids isolated from the roots of the African plant Strychnos icaja Baillon. They both exhibit antiplasmodial activities but also show cytotoxic effects against human cancer cell lines. In order to elucidate their mechanism of action, we have investigated the interaction of the alkaloids with DNA and their capacity to inhibit nucleic acids and protein synthesis in the human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cell line. Cell treatment with both sungucine and isosungucine leads to the appearance of a hypo-diploid DNA content peak. Western blotting analysis reveals that the two alkaloids induce cleavage of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and promote the cleavage of a caspase-3 DEVD peptide substrate. The activation of the caspase cascade is accompanied with a fragmentation of DNA in cells, as revealed by the TUNEL assay. Altogether, the results shed light on the mechanism of action of these two plant alkaloids and identify signaling factors involved in (iso)sungucine-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells. [less ▲]

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