Caroline O'Hare

University of Milan, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (24)90.04 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Imidazole (Im) and Pyrrole (Py)-containing polyamides that can form stacked dimers can be programmed to target specific sequences in the minor groove of DNA and control gene expression. Even though various designs of polyamides have been thoroughly investigated for DNA sequence recognition, the use of H-pin polyamides (covalently cross-linked polyamides) has not received as much attention. Therefore, experiments were designed to systematically investigate the DNA recognition properties of two symmetrical H-pin polyamides composed of PyImPyIm (5) or f-ImPyIm (3e, f=formamido) tethered with an ethylene glycol linker. These compounds were created to recognize the cognate 5'-ACGCGT-3' through an overlapped and staggered binding motif, respectively. Results from DNaseI footprinting, thermal denaturation, circular dichroism, surface plasmon resonance and isothermal titration microcalorimetry studies demonstrated that both H-pin polyamides bound with higher affinity than their respective monomers. The binding affinity of formamido-containing H-pin 3e was more than a hundred times greater than that for the tetraamide H-pin 5, demonstrating the importance of having a formamido group and the staggered motif in enhancing affinity. However, compared to H-pin 3e, tetraamide H-pin 5 demonstrated superior binding preference for the cognate sequence over its non-cognates, ACCGGT and AAATTT. Data from SPR experiments yielded binding constants of 1.6x10(8)M(-1) and 2.0x10(10)M(-1) for PyImPyIm H-pin 5 and f-ImPyIm H-pin 3e, respectively. Both H-pins bound with significantly higher affinity (ca. 100-fold) than their corresponding unlinked PyImPyIm 4 and f-ImPyIm 2 counterparts. ITC analyses revealed modest enthalpies of reactions at 298 K (DeltaH of -3.3 and -1.0 kcal mol(-1) for 5 and 3e, respectively), indicating these were entropic-driven interactions. The heat capacities (DeltaC(p)) were determined to be -116 and -499 cal mol(-1)K(-1), respectively. These results are in general agreement with DeltaC(p) values determined from changes in the solvent accessible surface areas using complexes of the H-pins bound to (5'-CCACGCGTGG)(2). According to the models, the H-pins fit snugly in the minor groove and the linker comfortably holds both polyamide portions in place, with the oxygen atoms pointing into the solvent. In summary, the H-pin polyamide provides an important molecular design motif for the discovery of future generations of programmable small molecules capable of binding to target DNA sequences with high affinity and selectivity.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 10/2008; 16(20):9145-53. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2008.09.034 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seven N-terminus modified derivatives of a previously published minor-groove binding polyamide (f-ImPyIm, 1) were synthesized and the biochemical and biophysical chemistry evaluated. These compounds were synthesized with the aim of attaining a higher level of sequence selectivity over f-ImPyIm (1), a previously published strong minor-groove binder. Two compounds possessing a furan or a benzofuran moiety at the N-terminus showed a footprint of 0.5microM at the cognate ACGCGT site (determined by DNase I footprinting); however, the specificity of these compounds was not improved. In contrast, PyImPyIm (4) produced a footprint of 0.5microM but showed a superior specificity using the same technique. When evaluated by thermal melting experiments and circular dichroism using ACGCGT and the non-cognate AAATTT sequence, all compounds were shown to bind in the minor-groove of DNA and stabilize the cognate sequence much better than the non-cognate (except for the non-amido-compound that did not bind either sequence, as expected). PyImPyIm (4) was interesting as the DeltaT(m) for this compound was only 4 degrees C but the footprint was very selective. No binding was observed for this compound with a third DNA (non-cognate, ACCGGT). ITC studies on compound 4 showed exothermic binding with ACGCGT and no heat change was observed for titrating the compound to the other two DNA sequences. The heat capacity (DeltaC(p)) of the PIPI/ACGCGT complex calculated from the hydrophobic interactions and SASA calculations was comparable to the experimental value obtained from ITC (-146calmol(-1)K(-1)). SPR results provided confirmation of the sequence specificity of PyImPyIm (4), with a K(eq) value determined to be 7.1x10(6) M(-1) for the cognate sequence and no observable binding to AAATTT and ACCGGT. Molecular dynamic simulations affirmed that PyImPyIm (4) binds as a dimer in an overlapped conformation, and it fits snugly in the minor-groove of the ACGCGT oligonucleotide. PyImPyIm (4) is an especially interesting molecule, because although the binding affinity is slightly reduced, the specificity with respect to f-ImPyIm (1) is significantly improved.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 06/2008; 16(9):5266-76. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2008.03.008 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many genes involved in cell cycle control have promoters that bind the heterotrimeric transcription factor NF-Y. Several minor-groove binding drugs have been shown to block interactions of transcription factors with cognate DNA-binding sequences. We showed previously that noncovalent minor-groove binding agents block interactions of NF-Y with the promoter of topoisomerase IIalpha (topo IIalpha). In this study, we investigated the ability of GWL-78, a pyrrolobenzodiazepine-poly(N-methylpyrrole) conjugate, to inhibit the binding of NF-Y to DNA. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that GWL-78 could displace NF-Y bound to several CCAAT motifs within promoters of genes involved in cell cycle progression. DNase I footprinting of the topo IIalpha promoter confirmed binding of GWL-78 to AT-rich sequences corresponding to the preferred binding site of NF-Y. Incubation with GWL-78 resulted in displacement of NF-Y binding to DNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays on the topo IIalpha promoter showed that GWL-78 was able to enter the nucleus and interact with specific DNA sequences. Treatment of NIH3T3 cells with GWL-78 resulted in a block of cell cycle progression, which did not involve activation of p53. Thus, agents such as GWL-78 may be useful in modulating transcription and blocking cellular proliferation.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 06/2008; 7(5):1319-1328. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0475 · 6.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polyamide N-formamido imidazole-pyrrole-imidazole (f-ImPyIm) binds with an exceptionally high affinity for its cognate site 5'-ACGCGT-3' as a stacked, staggered, and noncovalent cooperative dimer. Investigations are presented into its sequence specificity and binding affinity when linked covalently as an H-pin "dimer". Five f-ImPyIm cross-linked analogues with six to nine methylene linkers and an eight-linked ethylene glycol linker were examined to investigate the effect of linkage and linker length on DNA binding. Thermal denaturation studies on short DNA hairpins showed preferential binding by both f-ImPyIm (DeltaTm = 7.8 degrees C) and its cross-linked derivatives (DeltaTm > 30 degrees C) at 5'-ACGCGT-3', indicating sequence specificity was retained on linkage. DNase I footprinting confirmed strict cognate site selectivity and demonstrated that affinity increased with linker length (f-ImPyIm-9 = f-ImPyIm-8 = f-ImPyIm-EG-8 > f-ImPyIm-7 > f-ImPyIm-6). The eight- and nine-linked derivatives bound at 100-fold lower concentrations at the cognate site relative to f-ImPyIm-6, and with 10-fold higher affinity than unlinked f-ImPyIm. Use of an ethylene glycol linkage in f-ImPyIm-EG-8 to improve solubility slightly increased the cognate site affinity relative to those of f-ImPyIm-8 and f-ImPyIm-9, although some selectivity was lost at high ligand concentration. CD demonstrated that cognate site binding by eight and nine-linked compounds occurred in the minor groove. SPR analysis gave a binding affinity (K) for f-ImPyIm-EG-8 at the cognate site of 2 x 10(10) M-1, representing a 100-fold increase relative to that of f-ImPyIm. This study demonstrates that the high-affinity cooperative binding of f-ImPyIm can be enhanced significantly by suitable covalent linkage, while maintaining its strict cognate site selectivity.
    Biochemistry 11/2007; 46(42):11661-70. DOI:10.1021/bi701053a · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Topoisomerase IIalpha (topo IIalpha) is an important target for several chemotherapeutic agents, including etoposide and doxorubicin. Confluent cells express low levels of topo IIalpha and are resistant to etoposide treatment. Repression of transcription in confluent cells is mediated by binding of the transcription factor NF-Y to inverted CCAAT motifs within the topo IIalpha promoter. To block the repressive binding of NF-Y, a polyamide (JH-37) was designed to bind to the flanking regions of selected CCAAT sites within the topo IIalpha promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and DNase I footprinting assays showed occupancy of the inverted CCAAT sites by JH-37. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed in vivo inhibition of NF-Y binding to the topo IIalpha promoter. Following incubation of confluent NIH3T3 cells with JH-37, increased expression of topo IIalpha mRNA and protein was detectable. This correlated both with increased DNA double-strand breaks as shown by comet assay and decreased cell viability following exposure to etoposide. Polyamides can modulate gene expression and chemosensitivity of cancer cells.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 02/2007; 6(1):346-54. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0503 · 6.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An N-formamido pyrrole- and imidazole-containing triamide (f-PIP) has been shown by DNase I footprinting, SPR, and CD studies to bind as a stacked dimer to its cognate sequences: 5'-TACGAT-3' (5'-flank of the inverted CCAAT box-2 of the human topoisomerase IIalpha promoter) and 5'-ATCGAT-3'. A gel shift experiment provided evidence for f-PIP to inhibit protein-DNA interaction at the ICB2 site. Western blot studies showed that expression of the topoisomerase IIalpha gene in confluent NIH 3T3 cells was induced by treatment with f-PIP. The results suggested that the triamide was able to enter the nucleus, interacted with the target site within ICB2, inhibited NF-Y binding, and activated gene expression.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 01/2007; 16(24):6161-4. DOI:10.1016/j.bmcl.2006.09.043 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Five polyamide derivatives with rationally modified C-terminus moieties were synthesized and their DNA binding specificity and affinity determined. A convergent approach was employed to synthesize polyamides containing an alkylaminopiperazine (4 and 5), a truncated piperazine (6), or an alkyldiamino-C-terminus moiety (7 and 8) with two specific objectives: to investigate the effects of number of potential cationic centers and steric bulk at the C-terminus. CD studies confirmed that compounds 4, 5, 7, and 8 bind in the minor groove of DNA. The alkylpiperazine containing compounds (4 and 5) showed only moderate binding to DNA with DeltaT(m) values of 2.8 and 8.3 degrees C with their cognate sequence, respectively. The alkyldiamino compounds (7 and 8) were more impressive producing a DeltaT(m) of >17 and >22 degrees C, respectively. Compound 6 (truncated piperazine) did not stabilize its cognate DNA sequence. Footprints were observed for all compounds (except compound 6) with their cognate DNA sequence using DNase I footprinting, with compound 7 producing a footprint of 0.1 microM at the expected 5'-ACGCGT-3' site. SPR analysis of compound 7 binding to 5'-ACGCGT-3', 5'-ACCGGT-3', and 5'-AAATTT-3' produced binding affinities of 2.2x10(6), 3.3x10(5), and 1x10(5)M(-1), respectively, indicating a preference for its cognate sequence of 5'-ACGCGT-3'. These results are in good agreement with the footprinting data. The results indicate that steric crowding at the C-terminus is important with respect to binding. However, the number of cationic centers within the molecule may also play a role. The alkyldiamino-containing compounds (7 and 8) warrant further investigation in the field of polyamide research.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 01/2007; 15(1):474-83. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2006.09.037 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and synthesis of three novel bisalkylating agents derived from the achiral seco-duocarmycin or CC-1065 analogs and pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBDs) are described: achiral seco-CBI (cyclopropanebenz[e]indoline)-PBD 11, achiral seco-CI-PBD 12, and achiral seco-CBI dimer 13. Compounds 11 and 12 demonstrated enhanced cytotoxicity over the monomer counterparts against the growth of P815 murine mastocytoma cells in culture. Conjugate 11 was found to covalently react with adenine-N3 positions within the minor groove at AT-rich sequences and to produce DNA interstrand crosslinks. Both compounds were found to induce apoptosis in P815 cells. Due to its poor water solubility, dimer 13 did not give any appreciable DNA binding or cytotoxicity.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 12/2006; 16(21):5677-81. DOI:10.1016/j.bmcl.2006.08.005 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polyamide f-ImPyIm has a higher affinity for its cognate DNA than either the parent analogue, distamycin A (10-fold), or the structural isomer, f-PyImIm (250-fold), has for its respective cognate DNA sequence. These findings have led to the formulation of a two-letter polyamide "language" in which the -ImPy- central pairings associate more strongly with Watson-Crick DNA than -PyPy-, -PyIm-, and -ImIm-. Herein, we further characterize f-ImPyIm and f-PyImIm, and we report thermodynamic and structural differences between -ImPy- (f-ImPyIm) and -PyIm- (f-PyImIm) central pairings. DNase I footprinting studies confirmed that f-ImPyIm is a stronger binder than distamycin A and f-PyImIm and that f-ImPyIm preferentially binds CGCG over multiple competing sequences. The difference in the binding of f-ImPyIm and f-PyImIm to their cognate sequences was supported by the Na(+)-dependent nature of DNA melting studies, in which significantly higher Na(+) concentrations were needed to match the ability of f-ImPyIm to stabilize CGCG with that of f-PyImIm stabilizing CCGG. The selectivity of f-ImPyIm beyond the four-base CGCG recognition site was tested by circular dichroism and isothermal titration microcalorimetry, which shows that f-ImPyIm has marginal selectivity for (A.T)CGCG(A.T) over (G.C)CGCG(G.C). In addition, changes adjacent to this 6 bp binding site do not affect f-ImPyIm affinity. Calorimetric studies revealed that binding of f-ImPyIm, f-PyImIm, and distamycin A to their respective hairpin cognate sequences is exothermic; however, changes in enthalpy, entropy, and heat capacity (DeltaC(p)) contribute differently to formation of the 2:1 complexes for each triamide. Experimental and theoretical determinations of DeltaC(p) for binding of f-ImPyIm to CGCG were in good agreement (-142 and -177 cal mol(-)(1) K(-)(1), respectively). (1)H NMR of f-ImPyIm and f-PyImIm complexed with their respective cognate DNAs confirmed positively cooperative formation of distinct 2:1 complexes. The NMR results also showed that these triamides bind in the DNA minor groove and that the oligonucleotide retains the B-form conformation. Using minimal distance restraints from the NMR experiments, molecular modeling and dynamics were used to illustrate the structural complementarity between f-ImPyIm and CGCG. Collectively, the NMR and ITC experiments show that formation of the 2:1 f-ImPyIm-CGCG complex achieves a structure more ordered and more thermodynamically favored than the structure of the 2:1 f-PyImIm-CCGG complex.
    Biochemistry 12/2006; 45(45):13551-65. DOI:10.1021/bi061245c · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis and DNA-binding properties of a novel naphthalimide-polyamide hairpin (3) designed to target the inverted CCAAT box 2 (ICB2) site on the topoisomerase IIalpha (topoIIalpha) promoter are described. The polyamide component of 3 was derived from the minor-groove binder, 2, and tailored to bind to the 5'-TTGGT sequence found in and flanking ICB2. The propensity of mitonafide 4 to intercalate between G-C base pairs was exploited by the incorporation of a naphthalimide moiety at the N terminus of 2. Hybrid 3 targeted 5'-CGATTGGT and covered eight contiguous base pairs, which included the underlined ICB2 site. DNase I footprinting analysis with the topoIIalpha promoter sequence demonstrated that 3 bound selectively to the ICB2 and ICB3 sites. Thermal-denaturation studies confirmed these results, and the highest degree of stabilization was found for ICB2 and -3 in preference to ICB1 (4.1, 4.6, and 0.6 degrees C, respectively). CD studies confirmed minor-groove binding and suggested a 1:1 binding stoichiometry. Emission-titration experiments established intercalative binding. Surface plasmon resonance results showed strong binding to ICB2 (2.5x10(7) M(-1)) with no observable binding to ICB1. Furthermore, the binding constant of 3 to ICB2 was larger than that of the parent polyamide 2. The increased binding affinity was primarily due to a reduction in the dissociation-rate constant of the polyamide-DNA complex, which can be attributed to the N-terminal naphthalimide moiety. In addition, the binding site of 3 was larger than that of 2, which innately improved sequence selectivity. We conclude that the polyamide-naphthalimide 3 selectively binds to the ICB2 site by simultaneous intercalation and minor-groove binding, and warrants further investigation as a model compound for the regulation of topoIIalpha gene expression.
    ChemBioChem 12/2006; 7(11):1722-9. DOI:10.1002/cbic.200600155 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A novel hairpin polyamide, ZT65B, containing a 3-methylpicolinate moiety was designed to target the inverted CCAAT box (ICB) of the human multidrug resistance 1 gene (MDR1) promoter. Binding of nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y) to the ICB site upregulates MDR1 gene expression and is, therefore, a good target for anticancer therapeutic agents. However, it is important to distinguish amongst different promoter ICB sites so that only specific genes will be affected. All ICB sites have the same sequence but they differ in the sequence of the flanking base pairs, which can be exploited in the design of sequence-specific polyamides. To test this hypothesis, ten ICB-containing DNA hairpins were designed with different flanking base pairs; the sequences ICBa and ICBb were similar to the 3'-ICB site of MDR1 (TGGCT). Thermal-denaturation studies showed that ZT65B effectively targeted ICBa and ICBb (DeltaTM=6.5 and 7.0 degrees C) in preference to the other DNA hairpins (<3.5 degrees C), with the exception of ICBc (5.0 degrees C). DNase I-footprinting assays were carried out with the topoisomerase IIalpha-promoter sequence, which contains five ICB sites; of these, ICB1 and ICB5 are similar to the ICB site of MDR1. ZT65B was found to selectively bind ICB1 and ICB5; footprints were not observed with ICB2, ICB3, or ICB4. A strong, positive induced ligand band at 325 nm in CD studies confirmed that ZT65B binds in the DNA minor groove. The selectivity of ZT65B binding to hairpins that contained the MDR1 ICB site compared to one that did not (ICBd) was confirmed by surface-plasmon studies, and equilibrium constants of 5x10(6)-1x10(7) and 4.6x10(5) M-1 were obtained with ICB1, ICB5,and ICB2 respectively. ZT65B and the previously published JH37 (J. A. Henry, et al. Biochemistry 2004, 43, 12 249-12 257) serve as prototypes for the design of novel polyamides. These can be used to specifically target the subset of ubiquitous gene elements known as ICBs, and thereby affect the expression of one or a few proteins.
    ChemBioChem 12/2005; 6(12):2305-11. DOI:10.1002/cbic.200500179 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We are seeking to develop more effective alkylating agents as antitumour agents. In previous work conformationally restricted nitrogen mustards were synthesised containing piperidine or pyrrolidine rings. The free bases were designed to be bifunctional alkylating agents via aziridinium ion formation and the effects of varying the distances between the two alkylating sites were studied. Some efficient cross-linkers of naked DNA were prepared but few of these compounds exhibited significant cytotoxicity in human tumour cells in vitro. We have extended this work by making tri- and tetra-azamacrocyclic compounds containing two to four potential alkylating sites. Most of these compounds were powerful DNA alkylating agents and showed cytotoxicity (IC(50) values 6-100microM) comparable with chlorambucil (45microM) and melphalan (8.5microM). In particular the cyclen derivative 2a was more than 10(4) times more effective at cross-linking DNA (2a XL(50)<10nM) than chlorambucil (XL(50) 100microM), and showed significant cytotoxicity in human tumour cells in vitro.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 04/2005; 13(7):2389-95. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2005.01.055 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor hypoxia provides a key difference between healthy and cancerous cells. It can be exploited to produce drug selectivity, offering a reductase-rich environment for prodrug activation. Nitrogen mustard drugs are cytotoxic, but usually unselective. Polyamine mustards are candidates for conversion into hypoxia-selective prodrugs via complexation with metals. Reduction to a less stable complex can free the active drug. The novel Cu(II) complexes of N-mustard derivatives of 1,4,7-triazacyclononane (tacn), 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane (cyclen), and 1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane (cyclam) were assessed in vitro as hypoxia-selective cytotoxins. The cyclen mustard complex showed 24-fold selectivity as a hypoxia-selective bioreductive prodrug, with an IC50 value of 2 microM against the lung tumor cell line A549. Reversible redox behavior and stability of the cyclen-Cu(II) complex in aqueous solution correlated with good hypoxia selectivity. The two other related complexes showed irreversible redox behavior and low aqueous stability and were not hypoxia-selective. The use of macrocyclic nitrogen mustard complexes represents a promising new strategy in the design of hypoxia-selective cytotoxins.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 12/2004; 47(23):5683-9. DOI:10.1021/jm049866w · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Development of sequence-reading polyamides or "lexitropsins" with comparable DNA-binding affinities to cellular proteins raises the possibility of artificially regulated gene expression. Covalent linkage of polyamide ligands, with either a hairpin motif or crosslinking methylene bridge, has greatly improved binding affinity by ensuring their side-by-side register. Whereas hairpin polyamides have been investigated extensively, the optimized structure of crosslinked polyamides remains to be determined. This study examines a series of thiazole-imidazole-pyrrole (TIP) monomers and crosslinked dimers to evaluate the effects on selectivity and binding affinity of different N-terminal head groups attached to the leading thiazole ring and differing methylene linker lengths. Quantitative footprinting of a DNA sequence, containing potential match and mismatch sites for both maximum overlap and one-residue stagger binding modes, allowed measurement of binding constants at each putative site. Within an N-terminal amino TIP series, C7 and C8-linked compounds bound most strongly to these sites, whereas maximum binding affinity was observed for a C6 linker with a formyl head group. A C5 linker gave weak binding with either head group. A hydrogen or acetyl head group abrogated binding. Binding was confirmed by gel shift analyses. The highest specificity for the maximum overlap site over the one-residue stagger was observed with TIP-C7-amino. Selectivity of the leading thiazole was modulated by the head group, with N-terminal formyl TIP exhibiting up to 3-fold specificity for AGT over TGT, suggesting that N-formyl-thiazole may provide sequence discrimination of adenine over thymine. Moreover, the leading head group and methylene linker length significantly influences the binding characteristics of crosslinked polyamides.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2002; 99(1). DOI:10.1073/pnas.012588799 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • 01/2001; 7(1). DOI:10.1515/HC.2001.7.1.7
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    ABSTRACT: We are seeking to develop more effective bifunctional alkylating agents as antitumour agents. We previously synthesized conformationally restricted nitrogen mustards containing one piperidine ring, then bispiperidine derivatives were designed and prepared with varying lengths of carbon chain between the two rings and structure-activity relationships in these systems were studied. A bispiperidine with the shortest bridge of two carbon atoms was the most reactive bifunctional alkylating agent. In order to extend this work and investigate the effects of a change in the size of the heterocyclic systems, new bispyrrolidine salts 17-23 with chloromethyl groups at the 2-positions and a bridge between the two nitrogen atoms of 2-8 carbon atoms were synthesized from L-proline so that only the LL-enantiomers were produced. The free bases were designed to be bifunctional alkylating agents via aziridinium ion formation with different distances between the two alkylating sites. All of the bispyrrolidines were efficient cross-linkers of naked DNA apart from those with three-carbon (18) and four-carbon (19) bridges, in contrast to the results with the bispiperidines. A piperazine derivative 24 with two potential alkylating sites was also shown to be an efficient cross-linker, as was an alicyclic compound 25 with six carbon atoms between the two alkylating sites. Compounds 26 and 30 with an extra carbon atom between the nitrogen and the leaving group were not cross-linkers, as expected if aziridinium ion formation is crucial for cross-linking ability. The preformed aziridine 27 with a further alkylating site was an efficient cross-linker. Compounds 28-29 with only one potential alkylating centre were not cross-linkers of DNA. None of the compounds, however, produced significant cytotoxicity in human tumour cells in vitro.
    Anti-cancer drug design 05/2000; 15(2):119-26. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The p53 null HL-60 cell line was transfected with plasmids coding for either the wild-type p53 or mutant p53 gene. The stable expression of wild-type p53 resulted in a significant increase in sensitivity to the topoisomerase II poisons etoposide and doxorubicin, but not to the topoisomerase II inhibitors razoxane and ADR-529. HL-60 cells expressing wild-type p53 demonstrated 8- to 10-fold more VP-16 induced DNA breaks by the alkaline elution assay. The effect of inducible expression of wild-type p53 was also studied in the p53 null erythroblastoid cell line K562 and in the human squamous carcinoma cell line SqCC. The inducible expression of wild-type p53 in the K562 cell line resulted in a 3-fold increase in sensitivity to VP-16. The quantity of topoisomerase IIalpha was not altered by the transfection as determined by immunoblotting, while the amount of the beta isoform was increased 2.5-fold in HL-60 cells. The topo II catalytic activity present in nuclear extracts was measured as the decatenation of kinetoplast DNA, and found to be unaltered by p53 expression. Immunostaining for topoisomerase IIalpha was substantially diminished in both stable and inducible wild-type p53 expressing cells when three different antibodies were used (two polyclonal and one monoclonal). However, the addition of VP-16 resulted in a rapid appearance of nuclear fluorescence for topoisomerase IIalpha. No changes in topoisomerase IIbeta immunostaining were observed. These results suggest that an epitope for topoisomerase IIalpha is concealed in cells expressing wild-type p53 and that a complex between topoisomerase IIalpha and p53 may be disrupted by the addition of antitumor drugs.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 12/1999; 75(2):245-57. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytotoxicities and DNA cross-linking abilities of several alkyl-substituted diaziridinylquinones have been investigated. The cytotoxicities were determined in DT-diaphorase-rich (H460 and HT29) and -deficient (H596 and BE) cell lines. It was shown that the cytotoxicities in these cell lines correlated with the relative rates of reduction by the purified human enzyme and with the cross-linking efficiencies. The rates of reduction by DT-diaphorase were more dependent on the structures of the compounds than the reduction potentials, as determined by cyclic voltammetry. A computer model was also used to explain high efficiency of cross-linking and the GNC sequence selectivity of the reduced methyl-substituted diaziridinylquinones.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 07/1999; 42(12):2245-50. DOI:10.1021/jm991007y · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    J A Hartley, C C O'Hare, J Baumgart
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    ABSTRACT: The anti-tumour drug treosulfan (L-threitol 1,4-bismethanesulphonate, Ovastat) is a prodrug for epoxy compounds by converting non-enzymatically to L-diepoxybutane via the corresponding monoepoxide under physiological conditions. The present study supports the hypothesis that this conversion of treosulfan is required for cytotoxicity in vitro. DNA alkylation and interstrand cross-linking of plasmid DNA is observed after treosulfan treatment, but this is again produced via the epoxide species. Alkylation occurs at guanine bases with a sequence selectivity similar to other alkylating agents such as the nitrogen mustards. In treosulfan-treated K562 cells, cross-links form slowly, reaching a peak at approximately 24 h. Incubation of K562 cells with preformed epoxides shows faster and more efficient DNA cross-linking.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/1999; 79(2):264-6. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6690043 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to develop new bifunctional alkylating agents which damage DNA in a selective manner. In order to extend our previously published work on conformationally restricted nitrogen mustards containing one piperidine ring, new bispiperidine derivatives were designed with varying lengths of carbon chain between the two rings and structure-activity relationships in these systems were studied. Thus samples of new bispiperidine salts 22-26 with chloromethyl groups at the 2-positions and a bridge between the two nitrogen atoms of 2-6 carbon atoms were synthesized. The analogous new bis(p-nitrophenylcarbamates) 17-21 were also prepared. The free bases were designed to be bifunctional alkylating agents via aziridinium ion formation with different distances between the two alkylating sites. The bispiperidines 22-24 were shown to alkylate guanines at the 7-position in the major groove of DNA more selectively than melphalan. The bispiperidine 22 with the shortest two carbon bridge was the most reactive but it was less cytotoxic than melphalan in a human colon carcinoma cell line (IC50 value approximately 30 microM) and in a human chronic myeloid leukaemia cell line (IC50 value approximately 12 microM). The most cytotoxic compound in the latter cell line was the carbamate 17, with an IC50 value of approximately 0.3 microM, and carbamates 17, 19 and 20 were most potent in a panel of human ovarian carcinoma cell lines. These compounds also showed circumvention of acquired cisplatin resistance in three paired cell lines. The carbamates 17-21, however, were less efficient at alkylating and cross-linking naked DNA than the bispiperidines 22-26.
    Anti-cancer drug design 11/1998; 13(7):749-68. · 2.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

350 Citations
90.04 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • University of Milan
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2006–2007
    • Hope College
      Holland, Michigan, United States
    • Furman University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Greenville, SC, United States
  • 2000
    • UCL Eastman Dental Institute
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1996–1997
    • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom