Caffeine prevents apoptosis and cell cycle effects induced by camptothecin or topotecan in HL-60 cells.Cancer Res. 1993 Oct 01; 53(19):4613-8.CR
Caffeine (3,7-dihydro-1,3,7,-trimethyl-1H-purine-6,6-dione; CAF) is known to potentiate the cytotoxic effects of DNA damaging agents such as ionizing radiation and alkylating agents. In contrast, however, the cytotoxic and cytostatic activity of aromatic, DNA-intercalating, DNA topoisomerase II inhibitors such as Adriamycin, ellipticine, or mitoxantrone are diminished in the presence of CAF. To resolve whether the protective effect of CAF is associated with a particular mechanism of drug interaction (e.g., intercalation into DNA, inhibition of DNA topoisomerase II), or the aromatic nature of the drug structure, per se, we have presently studied the effects of CAF on the cytostatic and cytotoxic action of camptothecin (CAM) and its less toxic but more water soluble derivative topotecan (TPT) on HL-60 human myelogenous leukemia cells: both drugs have aromatic structures but are nonintercalating inhibitors of DNA topoisomerase I. By using spectroscopy and titration microcalorimetry, we have also studied the direct interaction between CAF and TPT in solution. Low (20 nM) concentrations of CAM or TPT perturbed progression of HL-60 cells through S-phase, whereas higher concentrations (0.15 microM) of these drugs induced apoptosis; both effects were easily demonstrable after 4 h of treatment. When added simultaneously with CAM or TPT, CAF prevented both effects. The protective effect of CAF was concentration dependent and evident within the concentration range of 1-5 mM; nearly total protection was seen at a CAF concentration of 5 mM. The bathochromic and hypochromic shift in the absorption spectrum of the water soluble compound TPT upon addition of CAF indicated that CAF and TPT interact (stack) in a fashion similar to that previously observed for CAF and DNA intercalators. Microcalorimetric measurements of TPT titration with CAF indicate an exothermic reaction between these compounds (the enthalpy change was delta H degree = -4.2 kcal/mol), which is consistent with a stacking model of CAF-TPT interaction. Thus, the ability of CAF to protect HL-60 cells against the cell kinetic effects of CAM or TPT, as in the case of DNA intercalating topoisomerase II inhibitors, is most likely due to formation of complexes between CAF and these aromatic molecules, which result in reducing the effective concentration of the free form of these drugs available to the cells.