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As Lavelle explained in lecture on Monday, cisplatin is a well known chemotherapy drug. It forms a coordination compound with DNA and stops cell division through its chelating ligands. Chelates are complexes containing a ligand that forms a ring of atoms that includes the central metal atom and when these complexes bond with DNA, it stops the replication process.
An important key to remember is the CIS part of the molecule (as a TRANS version does exist). This allows both ligands to bind to the DNA and effectively start replication whereas the TRANS version is unable to do this.
In addition to the posts above, since it is a cis version of the molecule, it is also a polar molecule since the Cl groups (x2) face opposite of the NH3 groups (x2), which can be thought to let it have unique properties compared to the trans version where it would be nonpolar.
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