Levodopa and dopamine analogs as DNA polymerase inhibitors and antitumor agents in human melanoma.

Cancer research (1980), Volume 40, Page 1414

Abstract:

Levodopa and dopamine are naturally occurring catecholamines with antitumor activity in several experimental tumor systems. Previous studies suggested that their cytotoxic effect was related in part to their inhibitory effect upon DNA polymerase. We have examined the effects of levodopa, dopamine, levodopa methyl ester, norepinephrine, and the analog 3,4-dihydroxybenzylamine upon human and murine melanoma cells. When exponentially growing cells were exposed to these drugs, a characteristic inhibition of thymidine incorporation was observed with much less inhibition of either uridine or leucine incorporation. In order to ascertain that inhibition was occurring at the level of DNA synthesis, we examined the effects of the drugs upon the incorporation of thymidine triphosphate by permeabilized melanoma cells. When melanoma cells were permeabilized by lysolecithin, thereby permitting the direct incorporation of labeled thymidine triphosphate, a similar inhibition of incorporation was observed. Dopamine at a concentration of 4.8 microM caused a 50% reduction in incorporation of label. These results suggested that inhibition did occur at the level of DNA synthesis. In the presence of the melanocyte-specific oxidase, tyrosinase, these derivatives are potent inhibitors of isolated DNA polymerase alpha with 50% inhibitory concentrations between 1 and 10 microM. The inhibition could be completely prevented by the presence of reducing agents such as dithiothreitol (1.0 mM). The quinols themselves were not inhibitors of DNA polymerase. Dopamine analogs represent an interesting class of antitumor agents with inhibitory activity for DNA polymerase.

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