The DNA cross-linking agents cisplatin and oxaliplatin are widely used in the treatment of human cancer. Lesions produced by these agents are widely known to activate the G1 and G2 cell cycle checkpoints. Less is known about the role of the intra-S-phase checkpoint in the response to these agents. In the present study, two different cell lines expressing a dominant-negative kinase dead (kd) version of the ataxia telangiectasia and rad3-related (ATR) kinase in an inducible fashion were examined for their responses to these two platinating agents and a variety of other DNA cross-linking drugs. The expression of the kdATR allele markedly sensitized the cells to cisplatin, but not to oxaliplatin, as assessed by inhibition of colony formation, induction of apoptosis, and cell cycle analysis. Similar differences in survival were noted for melphalan (ATR dependent) and 4- hydroperoxycyclophosphamide (ATR independent). Further experiments showed that ATR function is not necessary for removal of Pt-DNA adducts. The predominant difference between the responses to the two platinum drugs was the presence of a drug-specific ATR-dependent S-phase arrest after cisplatin but not oxaliplatin. These results indicate that involvement of ATR in the response to DNA cross-linking agents is lesion specific. This observation might need to be taken into account in the development and use of ATR or Chk1 inhibitors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research