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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 12, pp. 2715-2725

"Platinum on the road": Interactions of antitumoral cisplatin with proteins

Fabio Arnesano and Giovanni Natile

Department of Pharmacochemistry, University of Bari, Bari I-70125, Italy

Abstract: When the antitumor activity of cisplatin was discovered, no one would have thought of the existence of specific proteins able to transport Pt across the cell membrane or to specifically recognize DNA modified by this drug. However, such proteins do exist and, furthermore, are specific for the Pt substrate considered. It follows that proteins are deeply involved in managing the biological activity of cisplatin. It is expected that, after the first 20 years in which most of the efforts were devoted to understanding its mode of interaction with DNA and consequent structural and functional alterations, the role of proteins will be more deeply scavenged. How cisplatin can survive the attack of the many platinophiles present in the extracellular and intracellular media is the issue addressed in this article. Significantly, differences are observed between cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin.