Synthesis and biological activities of bisnaphthalimido polyamines derivatives: cytotoxicity, DNA binding, DNA damage and drug localization in breast cancer MCF 7 cells

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New bisoxynaphthalimidopolyamines (BNIPOPut, BNIPOSpd and BNIPOSpm) were synthesized. Their cytotoxic properties were evaluated against breast cancer MCF 7 cells and compared with bisnaphthalimidopolyamines BNIPSpd and BNIPSpm. Among the bisoxynaphthalimido polyamines, BNIPOSpm and BNIPOSpd exhibited cytotoxic activity with an IC50 of 29.55 and 27.22 μM, respectively, while BNIPOPut failed to exert significant cytotoxicity after 48-h drug exposure. DNA binding was determined by midpoint of thermal denaturation (Tm) measurement, ethidium bromide displacement and DNA gel mobility. Both BNIPOSpm and BNIPOSpd exhibited strong binding affinities with DNA. BNIPOPut had the least effect. The results were compared with other cytotoxic bisnaphthalimido compounds (BNIPSpm and BNIPSpd) previously reported by us. Using the single cell gel electrophoresis assay, it was found that BNIPSpm and BNIPSpd caused substantial DNA damage to MCF 7 treated cells while BNIPOSpm showed no significant effect over a range of drug concentrations after 4-h drug exposure. However, after 12-h drug exposure, BNIPOSpm had induced significant DNA damage similar to that of BNIPSpm (after 4-h drug exposure). Fluorescence microscopic analysis revealed that at 1 μM drug concentration and after 6-h drug exposure, both BNIPSpm and BNIPSpd were located within the cell while the presence of BNIPOSpm, was not observed. Therefore, we conclude that BNIPSpd, BNIPSpm and BNIPOSpm induce DNA damage consistent with their rate of uptake into the cells.

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