Design, synthesis, and evaluation of a mitoxantrone probe (MXP) for biological studies

Savanna Wallin, Sarbjit Singh, Gloria E.O. Borgstahl, Amarnath Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitoxantrone (MX) is a robust chemotherapeutic with well-characterized applications in treating certain leukemias and advanced breast and prostate cancers. The canonical mechanism of action associated with MX is its ability to intercalate DNA and inhibit topoisomerase II, giving it the designation of a topoisomerase II poison. Years after FDA approval, investigations have unveiled novel protein-binding partners, such as methyl-CpG-binding domain protein (MBD2), PIM1 serine/threonine kinase, RAD52, and others that may contribute to the therapeutic profile of MX. Moreover, recent proteomic studies have revealed MX's ability to modulate protein expression, illuminating the complex cellular interactions of MX. Although mechanistically relevant, the differential expression across the proteome does not address the direct interaction with potential binding partners. Identification and characterization of these MX-binding cellular partners will provide the molecular basis for the alternate mechanisms that influence MX's cytotoxicity. Here, we describe the design and synthesis of a MX-biotin probe (MXP) and negative control (MXP-NC) that can be used to define MX's cellular targets and expand our understanding of the proteome-wide profile for MX. In proof of concept studies, we used MXP to successfully isolate a recently identified protein-binding partner of MX, RAD52, in a cell lysate pulldown with streptavidin beads and western blotting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129465
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • Biotin
  • DNA repair
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Probe
  • RAD52

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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