Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

July 2010


The clinically used antitumor agent mitomycin C (MC) alkylates DNA upon reductive activation, forming six covalent DNA adducts in this process. This review focuses on differential biological effects of individual adducts in various mammalian cell cultures, observed in the authors' laboratories. Evidence is reviewed that various adducts are capable of inducing different cell death pathways in cancer cells.This evidence is derived from a parallel study of MC and its derivatives 2,7-diaminomitosene (2,7-DAM) which is the main metabolite of MC and forms two mono-adducts with DNA, and decarbamoyl mitomycin C (DMC), which alkylates and cross-links DNA, predominantly with a chirality opposite to that of the DNA adducts of MC. 2,7-DAM is not cytotoxic and does not activate the p53 pathway while MC and DMC are cytotoxic and able to activate the p53 pathway. DMC is more cytotoxic than MC and can also kill p53-deficient cells by inducing degradation of Checkpoint 1 protein, which is not seen with MC treatment of the p53-deficient cells. This difference in the cell death pathways activated by the MC and DMC is attributed to differential signaling by the DNA adducts of DMC. We hypothesize that the different chirality of the adduct-to-DNA linkage has a modulating influence on the choice of pathway.


This work was originally published in Journal of Nucleic Acids, available at doi:10.4061/2010/698960.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.