Quantification of acylfulvene- and illudin S-DNA adducts in cells with variable bioactivation capacities

Kathryn E. Pietsch, Paul M. Van Midwoud, Peter W. Villalta, Shana J. Sturla

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28 Scopus citations


Illudin S and its semisynthetic analogue acylfulvene (AF) are structurally similar but elicit different biological responses. AF is a bioreductive alkylating anticancer agent with a favorable therapeutic index, while illudin S is in general highly toxic. AF toxicity is dependent on the reductase enzyme prostaglandin reductase 1 (PTGR1) for activation to a cytotoxic reactive intermediate. While illudin S can be metabolized by PTGR1, available data suggest that its toxicity does not correspond with PTGR1 function. The goal of this study was to understand how drug cytotoxicity relates to cellular bioactivation capacity and the identity and quantity of AF- or illudin S-DNA adducts. The strategy involved identification of novel illudin S-DNA adducts and their quantitation in a newly engineered SW-480 colon cancer cell line that stably overexpresses PTGR1 (PTGR1-480). These data were compared with cytotoxicity data for both compounds in PTGR1-480 versus normal SW-480 cells, demonstrating that AF forms more DNA adducts and is more cytotoxic in cells with higher levels of PTGR1, whereas illudin S cytotoxicity and adduct formation are not influenced by PTGR1 levels. Results are discussed in the context of an overall model for how changes in relative propensities of these compounds to undergo cellular processes, such as bioactivation, contributes to DNA damage, and cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013


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