Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Approximately 50% of all chemotherapy cancer patients receive a platinum chemotherapeutic during their treatment. Although these drugs are widely utilized, little is known about the cellular transport of platinum drugs. It is hypothesized that platinum utilizes transporters for other metals to enter the cell. Structural differences between compounds are predicted to affect the compounds’ ability to exploit different transporters. Also, different cell types express different transporters. Therefore, compound structure is expected to influence transport of platinum compounds differently in different cell types. This study investigated the role of the platinum drug cisplatin and platinum compound Pt(en)Cl2 in altering iron and copper transport in a non-cancerous cell line (HEK-293) and a melanoma cell line (SK-MEL-5). Atomic absorption spectroscopy was utilized to determine the total amount of platinum, iron, and copper that accumulated in cells after platinum exposure. The exposure compound significantly affected the platinum accumulation in HEK-293, and the iron and copper accumulation in both cell lines. Therefore, differences in cisplatin and Pt(en)Cl2 structure could lead to differences in intracellular accumulation.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Blairanne Williams, Ph.D.


Biochemistry | Other Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health | Toxicology

Available for download on Saturday, May 03, 2025