Cellular processing of platinum anticancer drugs

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 Apr;4(4):307-20. doi: 10.1038/nrd1691.


Cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin are platinum-based drugs that are widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Platinum-DNA adducts, which are formed following uptake of the drug into the nucleus of cells, activate several cellular processes that mediate the cytotoxicity of these platinum drugs. This review focuses on recently discovered cellular pathways that are activated in response to cisplatin, including those involved in regulating drug uptake, the signalling of DNA damage, cell-cycle checkpoints and arrest, DNA repair and cell death. Such knowledge of the cellular processing of cisplatin adducts with DNA provides valuable clues for the rational design of more efficient platinum-based drugs as well as the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / chemistry
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Organoplatinum Compounds