6-Aminonicotinamide sensitizes human tumor cell lines to cisplatin

I. Imawati Budihardjo, Denise L. Walker, Phyllis A. Svingen, Christopher A. Buckwalter, Serge Desnoyers, Steven Eckdahl, Girish M. Shah, Guy G. Poirier, Joel M. Reid, Matthew M. Ames, Scott H. Kaufmann

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41 Scopus citations


The nicotinamide analogue 6-aminonicotinamide (6AN) is presently undergoing evaluation as a potential modulator of the action of various antineoplastic treatments. Most previous studies of this agent have focused on a three-drug regimen of chemical modulators that includes 6AN. In the present study, the effect of single-agent 6AN on the efficacy of selected antineoplastic drugs was assessed in vitro. Colony-forming assays using human tumor cell lines demonstrated that pretreatment with 30-250 μM 6AN for 18 h resulted in increased sensitivity to the DNA cross-linking agent cisplatin, with 6-, 11-, and 17-fold decreases in the cisplatin dose that diminishes colony formation by 90% being observed in K562 leukemia cells, A549 non- small cell lung cancer cells, and T98G glioblastoma cells, respectively. Morphological examination revealed increased numbers of apoptotic cells after treatment with 6AN and cisplatin compared to cisplatin alone. 6AN also sensitized cells to melphalan and nitrogen mustard but not to chlorambucil, 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, etoposide, or daunorubicin. In additional studies undertaken to elucidate the mechanism underlying the sensitization to cisplatin, atomic absorption spectroscopy revealed that 6AN had no effect on the rate of removal of platinum (Pt) adducts from DNA. Instead, 6AN treatment was accompanied by an increase in Pt-DNA adducts that paralleled the degree of sensitization. This effect was not attributable to 6AN-induced decreases in glutathione or NAD+, because other agents that depleted these detoxification cofactors (buthionine sulfoximine and 3-acetylpyridine, respectively) did not increase Pt-DNA adducts. On the contrary, 6AN treatment increased cellular accumulation of cisplatin. Further experiments revealed that 6AN was metabolized to 6-aminonicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (6ANAD+). Concurrent administration of nicotinamide and 6AN had minimal effect on cellular 6AN accumulation but abolished the formation of 6ANAD+, the increase in Pt-DNA adducts, and the sensitizing effect of 6AN in clonogenic assays. These observations identify 6AN as a potential modulator of cisplatin sensitivity and suggest that the 6AN metabolite 6ANAD+ exerts this effect by increasing cisplatin accumulation and subsequent formation of Pt-DNA adducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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