4-Demethoxy-3′-deamino-3′-aziridinyl-4′-methylsulphonyl- daunorubicin (PNU-159548), a novel anticancer agent active against tumor cell lines with different resistance mechanisms

S. Marchini, G. Damia, M. Broggini, G. Pennella, M. Ripamonti, A. Marsiglio, C. Geroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The activity of 4-demethoxy-3′-deamino-3′-aziridinyl-4′-methylsulphonyl- daunorubicin (PNU-159548), a new alkycycline with high antitumor activity against a broad range of cancer cells, was evaluated in vitro and in vivo in cells selected for resistance to different anticancer agents. Both in vitro and in vivo, PNU-159548 did retain its activity in cells expressing the multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype, associated to MDR-1 gene overexpression or with an alteration in the topoisomerase II gene (altered MDR), independently on the drug used for the selection of the resistant cell line. According to these data, the intracellular uptake of PNU-159548 is not influenced by the presence of MDR-1. PNU-159548 was also active, both in vitro and in vivo, against cells showing resistance to various alkylating agents (including cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and melphalan) and topoisomerase I-inhibitors. Cells defective in nucleotide excision repair, which did show hypersensitivity to treatment with UV irradiation and alkylating agents, showed only a marginally increased sensitivity to PNU-159548. Similarly, the activity of the drug was not influenced by the mismatch repair system, as assessed in two different cellular systems deficient in hMLH1 expression and in which hMLHI activity was restored by chromosome 3 transfer. The results obtained clearly indicate that the new anticancer agent PNU-159548 is able to overcome the classical mechanisms of resistance emerging after treatment with the most clinically used anticancer agents, and it could represent an alternate choice in the treatment of those tumors refractory to conventional therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1991-1995
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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