Translation inhibition and suppression of stress granules formation by cisplatin

Biomed Pharmacother. 2022 Jan:145:112382. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112382. Epub 2021 Dec 1.


Platinum-based antineoplastic drugs, such as cisplatin, are commonly used to induce tumor cell death. Cisplatin is believed to induce apoptosis as a result of cisplatin-DNA adducts that inhibit DNA and RNA synthesis. Although idea that DNA damage underlines anti-proliferative effects of cisplatin is dominant in cancer research, there is a poor correlation between the degree of the cell sensitivity to cisplatin and the extent of DNA platination. Here, we examined possible effects of cisplatin on post-transcriptional gene regulation that may contribute to cisplatin-mediated cytotoxicity. We show that cisplatin suppresses formation of stress granules (SGs), pro-survival RNA granules with multiple roles in cellular metabolism. Mechanistically, cisplatin inhibits cellular translation to promote disassembly of polysomes and aggregation of ribosomal subunits. As SGs are in equilibrium with polysomes, cisplatin-induced shift towards ribosomal aggregation suppresses SG formation. Our data uncover previously unknown effects of cisplatin on RNA metabolism.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Cisplatin; Stress granules; Stress response; Translation initiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Cytoplasmic Ribonucleoprotein Granules / drug effects*
  • Cytoplasmic Ribonucleoprotein Granules / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / drug effects*
  • Stress Granules / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cisplatin