In attempts to develop an orally applicable platinum-based drug, platinum(IV) drugs which exhibit higher in vivo
compared to the platinum(II) drug cisplatin were formulated. The first such chemotherapeutic agent, namely satraplatin, failed to receive approval. In the present work, we checked the initial cellular stress response of the chemosensitive NCI-H526 small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells by determination of the relative phosphorylation of 46 specific phosphorylation sites of 38 selected proteins in a six hours response to cisplatin (platinum(II)) or oxoplatin (platinum(IV)), respectively. Oxoplatin is considered as prodrug of cisplatin, although several findings point to differences in intracellular effects. Cisplatin induced hyperphosphorylation of p38α MAPK and AMPKα1, whereas oxoplatin treatment resulted in increased phosphorylation of a large number of signaling proteins involved in stress response/drug resistance, including JNK, GSK-3α, AMPKα1, src kinases, STATs, CHK-2 and especially focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Cisplatin exerts markedly higher cytotoxicity upon four hours short-term exposure in comparison to oxoplatin and, correspondingly, the extended initial stress response to the platinum(IV) drug oxoplatin thus is expected to increase clinical drug resistance. Induction of a substantial stress response to any prodrug of a platinum-based compound may likewise limit the effectivity of its active metabolite(s), such contributing to the failure of selected derivatized platinum complexes.