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1.  Geminin overexpression prevents the completion of topoisomerase IIα chromosome decatenation, leading to aneuploidy in human mammary epithelial cells 
The nuclear enzyme topoisomerase IIα (TopoIIα) is able to cleave DNA in a reversible manner, making it a valuable target for agents such as etoposide that trap the enzyme in a covalent bond with the 5′ DNA end to which it cleaves. This prevents DNA religation and triggers cell death in cancer cells. However, development of resistance to these agents limits their therapeutic use. In this study, we examined the therapeutic targeting of geminin for improving the therapeutic potential of TopoIIα agents.
Human mammary epithelial (HME) cells and several breast cancer cell lines were used in this study. Geminin, TopoIIα and cell division cycle 7 (Cdc7) silencing were done using specific small interfering RNA. Transit or stable inducible overexpression of these proteins and casein kinase Iε (CKIε) were also used, as well as several pharmacological inhibitors that target TopoIIα, Cdc7 or CKIε. We manipulated HME cells that expressed H2B-GFP, or did not, to detect chromosome bridges. Immunoprecipitation and direct Western blot analysis were used to detect interactions between these proteins and their total expression, respectively, whereas interactions on chromosomal arms were detected using a trapped in agarose DNA immunostaining assay. TopoIIα phosphorylation by Cdc7 or CKIε was done using an in vitro kinase assay. The TopoGen decatenation kit was used to measure TopoIIα decatenation activity. Finally, a comet assay and metaphase chromosome spread were used to detect chromosome breakage and changes in chromosome condensation or numbers, respectively.
We found that geminin and TopoIIα interact primarily in G2/M/early G1 cells on chromosomes, that geminin recruits TopoIIα to chromosomal decatenation sites or vice versa and that geminin silencing in HME cells triggers the formation of chromosome bridges by suppressing TopoIIα access to chromosomal arms. CKIε kinase phosphorylates and positively regulates TopoIIα chromosome localization and function. CKIε kinase overexpression or Cdc7 kinase silencing, which we show phosphorylates TopoIIα in vitro, restored DNA decatenation and chromosome segregation in geminin-silenced cells before triggering cell death. In vivo, at normal concentration, geminin recruits the deSUMOylating sentrin-specific proteases SENP1 and SENP2 enzymes to deSUMOylate chromosome-bound TopoIIα and promote its release from chromosomes following completion of DNA decatenation. In cells overexpressing geminin, premature departure of TopoIIα from chromosomes is thought to be due to the fact that geminin recruits more of these deSUMOylating enzymes, or recruits them earlier, to bound TopoIIα. This triggers premature release of TopoIIα from chromosomes, which we propose induces aneuploidy in HME cells, since chromosome breakage generated through this mechanism were not sensed and/or repaired and the cell cycle was not arrested. Expression of mitosis-inducing proteins such as cyclin A and cell division kinase 1 was also increased in these cells because of the overexpression of geminin.
TopoIIα recruitment and its chromosome decatenation function require a normal level of geminin. Geminin silencing induces a cytokinetic checkpoint in which Cdc7 phosphorylates TopoIIα and inhibits its chromosomal recruitment and decatenation and/or segregation function. Geminin overexpression prematurely deSUMOylates TopoIIα, triggering its premature departure from chromosomes and leading to chromosomal abnormalities and the formation of aneuploid, drug-resistant cancer cells. On the basis of our findings, we propose that therapeutic targeting of geminin is essential for improving the therapeutic potential of TopoIIα agents.
PMCID: PMC3218940  PMID: 21595939
2.  Inhibition of human DNA topoisomerase II by hydroquinone and p-benzoquinone, reactive metabolites of benzene. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1996;104(Suppl 6):1265-1269.
Chronic exposure of humans to benzene (BZ) causes acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Both BZ and therapy-related secondary AML are characterized by chromosomal translocations that may occur by inappropriate recombinational events. DNA topoisomerase II (topo II) is an essential sulfhydryl (SH)-dependent endonuclease required for replication, recombination, chromosome segregation, and chromosome structure. Topo II cleaves DNA at purine(R)/pyrimidine(Y) repeat sequences that have been shown to be highly recombinogenic in vivo. Certain antineoplastic drugs stabilize topo II-DNA cleavage complexes at RY repeat sequences, which leads to translocations of the type observed in leukemia. Hydroquinone (HQ) is metabolized to p-benzoquinone (BQ) in a peroxidase-mediated reaction in myeloid progenitor cells. BQ interacts wit SH groups of SH-dependent enzymes. Consequently, the aims of this research were to determine whether HQ and BQ are topo II inhibitors. The ability of the compounds to inhibit the activity of topo III was tested using an assay system that depends on the conversion, by homogeneous human topo II, of catenated kinetoplast DNA into open and/or nicked open circular DNA that can be separated from the catenated DNA by electrophoresis in a 1% agarose-ethidium bromide gel. We provide preliminary data that indicate that both HQ and BQ cause a time and concentration (microM)-dependent inhibition of topo II activity. These compounds, which potentially can form adducts with DNA, have no effect on the migration of the supercoiled and open circular forms in the electrophoretic gradient, and BQ-adducted KDNA can be decatenated by topo II. Using a pRYG plasmid DNA with a single RY repeat as a cleavage site, it was determined that BQ does not stimulate the production of linear DNA indicative of an inhibition of topo II religation of strand breaks by stabilization of the covalent topo III-DNA cleavage complex. Rather, BQ most probably inhibits the SH-dependent topo II by binding to an essential SH group. The inhibition of topo II by BQ has implications for the formation of deleterious translocations that may be involved in BZ-induced initiation of leukemogenesis.
PMCID: PMC1469763  PMID: 9118903
3.  DNA Topoisomerase II Is Involved in Regulation of Cyst Wall Protein Genes and Differentiation in Giardia lamblia 
The protozoan Giardia lamblia differentiates into infectious cysts within the human intestinal tract for disease transmission. Expression of the cyst wall protein (cwp) genes increases with similar kinetics during encystation. However, little is known how their gene regulation shares common mechanisms. DNA topoisomerases maintain normal topology of genomic DNA. They are necessary for cell proliferation and tissue development as they are involved in transcription, DNA replication, and chromosome condensation. A putative topoisomerase II (topo II) gene has been identified in the G. lamblia genome. We asked whether Topo II could regulate Giardia encystation. We found that Topo II was present in cell nuclei and its gene was up-regulated during encystation. Topo II has typical ATPase and DNA cleavage activity of type II topoisomerases. Mutation analysis revealed that the catalytic important Tyr residue and cleavage domain are important for Topo II function. We used etoposide-mediated topoisomerase immunoprecipitation assays to confirm the binding of Topo II to the cwp promoters in vivo. Interestingly, Topo II overexpression increased the levels of cwp gene expression and cyst formation. Microarray analysis identified up-regulation of cwp and specific vsp genes by Topo II. We also found that the type II topoisomerase inhibitor etoposide has growth inhibition effect on Giardia. Addition of etoposide significantly decreased the levels of cwp gene expression and cyst formation. Our results suggest that Topo II has been functionally conserved during evolution and that Topo II plays important roles in induction of the cwp genes, which is key to Giardia differentiation into cysts.
Author Summary
Giardia lamblia becomes infective by differentiation into water-resistant cysts. During encystation, cyst wall proteins (CWPs) are highly synthesized and are targeted to the cyst wall. However, little is known about the regulation mechanisms of these genes. DNA topoisomerases can resolve the topological problems and are needed for a variety of key cellular functions, including cell proliferation, cell differentiation and organ development in higher eukaryotes. We found that giardial Topo II was highly expressed during encystation. Topo II is present in Giardia nuclei and is associated with the encystation-induced cwp gene promoters. Topo II has typical DNA cleavage activity of type II topoisomerases. Interestingly, overexpression of Topo II can induce cwp gene expression and cyst formation. Addition of a type II topoisomerase inhibitor, etoposide, significantly decreased the levels of cwp gene expression and cyst formation. Etoposide also has growth inhibition effect on Giardia. Our results suggest that Topo II plays an important role in induction of encystation by up-regulation of the cwp gene expression. Our results provide insights into the function of Topo II in parasite differentiation into cysts and help develop ways to interrupt the parasite life cycle.
PMCID: PMC3656124  PMID: 23696909
4.  Arylstibonic Acids: Novel Inhibitors and Activators of Human Topoisomerase IB 
Bioorganic chemistry  2008;36(4):190-197.
Human topoisomerase IB (hTopo) forms a covalent phosphotyrosyl linkage with the DNA backbone, and controls genomic DNA topology by relaxing DNA supercoils during the processes of DNA replication, transcription, chromosome condensation and decondensation. The essential role of hTopo in these processes has made it a preeminent anticancer drug target. We have screened a small library of arylstibonic acids for their effects on plasmid supercoil relaxation catalyzed by hTopo. Despite the similar structures of the library compounds, some compounds were found to be effective competitive inhibitors, and others, nonessential activators. Some arylstibonic acids show selectivity in their action against hTopo and the related enzyme from poxvirus (vTopo). Structure-activity relationships and structural modeling suggest that competitive inhibition may result from positioning of the negatively charged stibonic acid and carboxylate groups of the inhibitors into DNA phosphate binding pockets on hTopo. The hTopo activators act by a surprising allosteric mechanism without interfering with DNA binding or binding of the widely used hTopo poison camptothecin. Arylstibonic acid competitive inhibitors may become useful small molecules for elucidating the cellular functions of hTopo.
PMCID: PMC2574574  PMID: 18508107
5.  Human Multiple Myeloma Cells Are Sensitized to Topoisomerase II Inhibitors by CRM1 Inhibition 
Cancer research  2009;69(17):6899-6905.
Topoisomerase IIα (topo IIα) is exported from the nucleus of human myeloma cells by a CRM1-dependent mechanism at cellular densities similar to those found in patient bone marrow. When topo IIα is trafficked to the cytoplasm, it is not in contact with the DNA; thus topo IIα inhibitors are unable to induce DNA-cleavable complexes and cell death. Using a CRM1 inhibitor or a CRM1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA), we were able to block nuclear export of topo IIα as shown by immunofluorescence microscopy. Human myeloma cell lines and patient myeloma cells isolated from bone marrow were treated with a CRM1 inhibitor or CRM1-specific siRNA and exposed to doxorubicin or etoposide (VP-16) at high cell densities. CRM1-treated cell lines or myeloma patient cells were fourfold more sensitive to topo II poisons, as determined by activated caspase assay. Normal cells were not significantly affected by CRM1-topo II combination treatment. Cell death was correlated with increased DNA double-strand breaks as shown by the comet assay. Band depletion assays of CRM1 inhibitor-exposed myeloma cells demonstrated increased topo IIα covalently bound to DNA. Topo IIα knockdown by a topo IIα-specific siRNA abrogated the CRM1-topo II therapy synergistic effect. These results suggest that blocking topo IIα nuclear export sensitizes myeloma cells to topo II inhibitors. This method of sensitizing myeloma cells suggests a new therapeutic approach to multiple myeloma.
PMCID: PMC2744372  PMID: 19690141
topoisomerase; multiple myeloma; CRM1; doxorubicin; etoposide; ratjadone
6.  Effects of conditional depletion of topoisomerase II on cell cycle progression in mammalian cells 
Cell Cycle  2011;10(20):3505-3514.
Topoisomerase II (Topo II) that decatenates newly synthesized DNA is targeted by many anticancer drugs. Some of these drugs stabilize intermediate complexes of DNA with Topo II and others act as catalytic inhibitors of Topo II. Simultaneous depletion of Topo IIα and Topo IIβ, the two isoforms of mammalian Topo II, prevents cell growth and normal mitosis, but the role of Topo II in other phases of mammalian cell cycle has not yet been elucidated. We have developed a derivative of p53-suppressed human cells with constitutive depletion of Topo IIβ and doxycycline-regulated conditional depletion of Topo IIα. The effects of Topo II depletion on cell cycle progression were analyzed by time-lapse video microscopy, pulse-chase flow cytometry and mitotic morphology. Topo II depletion increased the duration of the cell cycle and mitosis, interfered with chromosome condensation and sister chromatid segregation and led to frequent failure of cell division, ending in either cell death or restitution of polyploid cells. Topo II depletion did not change the rate of DNA replication but increased the duration of G2. These results define the effects of decreased Topo II activity, rather than intermediate complex stabilization, on the mammalian cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3356834  PMID: 22067657
topoisomerase II; mitosis; G2; conditional knockdown; S phase; mitotic catastrophe
7.  Microscopic Modes and Free Energies for Topoisomerase I-DNA Covalent Complex Binding with Non-campothecin Inhibitors by Molecular Docking and Dynamics Simulations 
Theoretical chemistry accounts  2013;132(8):10.1007/s00214-013-1379-z.
Topoisomerase I (Topo1) has been identified as an attractive target for anticancer drug development due to its central role in facilitating the nuclear process of the DNA. It is essential for rational design of novel Topo1 inhibitors to reliably predict the binding structures of the Topo1 inhibitors interacting with the Topo1-DNA complex. The detailed binding structures and binding free energies for the Topo1-DNA complex interacting with typical non-camptothecin (CPT) Topo1 inhibitors have been examined by performing molecular docking, molecular dynamic (MD) simulations, and binding free energy calculations. The computational results provide valuable insights into the binding modes of the inhibitors binding with the Topo1-DNA complex and the key factors affecting the binding affinity. It has been demonstrated that the — stacking interaction with the DNA base pairs and the hydrogen bonding with Topo1 have the pivotal contributions to the binding structures and binding free energies, although the van der Waals and electrostatic interactions also significantly contribute to the stabilization of the binding structures. The calculated binding free energies are in good agreement with the available experiment activity data. The detailed binding modes and the crucial factors affecting the binding free energies obtained from the present computational studies may provide valuable insights for future rational design of novel, more potent Topo1 inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3867144  PMID: 24363608
8.  Y-box binding protein 1 enhances DNA topoisomerase 1 activity and sensitivity to camptothecin via direct interaction 
The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) possesses pleiotropic functions through its interactions with various cellular proteins, and its high expression levels make it a potential useful prognostic biomarker for cancer cells. Eukaryotic DNA topoisomerases, such as DNA topoisomerase 1 (TOPO1) and DNA topoisomerase 2 (TOPO2), are the essential DNA metabolism regulators that usually overexpressed in cancer cells, and multiple proteins have been reported to regulate the enzyme activity and the clinical efficacy of their inhibitors. The present study unraveled the interaction of YB-1 with TOPO1, and further investigated the related function and potential mechanisms during the interaction.
The direct association of TOPO1 with specific domain of YB-1 was explored by co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays. The interaction function was further clarified by DNA relaxation assays, co-immunoprecipitation and WST-8 assays with in vitro gain- and loss- of function models.
We found that YB-1 interacts directly with TOPO1 (but not with TOPO2) and promotes TOPO1 catalytic activity. Interactions between YB-1 and TOPO1 increased when cancer cells were treated with the TOPO1 inhibitor, camptothecin (CPT), but not with the TOPO2 inhibitor, adriamycin (ADM). Furthermore, we found that the interaction is prevented by pretreatment with the antioxidant agent, N-acetyl cysteine, and that YB-1 downregulation renders cells resistant to CPT.
Our findings suggest that nuclear YB-1 serves as an intracellular promoter of TOPO1 catalytic activity that enhances CPT sensitivity through its direct interaction with TOPO1.
PMCID: PMC4308875  PMID: 25539742
Drug resistance; Oxidative stress; Protein interaction domains and motifs; Topoisomerase 1; Y-box binding protein 1
9.  Inhibition of archaeal growth and DNA topoisomerase VI activities by the Hsp90 inhibitor radicicol 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(7):2310-2317.
Type II DNA topoisomerases have been classified into two families, Topo IIA and Topo IIB, based on structural and mechanistic dissimilarities. Topo IIA is the target of many important antibiotics and antitumoural drugs, most of them being inactive on Topo IIB. The effects and mode of action of Topo IIA inhibitors in vitro and in vivo have been extensively studied for the last twenty-five years. In contrast, studies of Topo IIB inhibitors were lacking. To document this field, we have studied two Hsp90 inhibitors (radicicol and geldanamycin), known to interact with the ATP-binding site of Hsp90 (the Bergerat fold), which is also present in Topo IIB. Here, we report that radicicol inhibits the decatenation and relaxation activities of Sulfolobus shibatae DNA topoisomerase VI (a Topo IIB) while geldanamycin does not. In addition, radicicol has no effect on the Topo IIA Escherichia coli DNA gyrase. In agreement with their different effects on DNA topoisomerase VI, we found that radicicol can theoretically fit in the ATP-binding pocket of the DNA topoisomerase VI ‘Bergerat fold’, whereas geldanamycin cannot. Radicicol inhibited growths of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (a crenarchaeon) and of Haloferax volcanii (a euryarchaeon) at the same doses that inhibited DNA topoisomerase VI in vitro. In contrast, the bacteria E.coli was resistant to this drug. Radicicol thus appears to be a very promising compound to study the mechanism of Topo IIB in vitro, as well as the biological roles of these enzymes in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1084324  PMID: 15849317
10.  The Analysis of Mutant Alleles of Different Strength Reveals Multiple Functions of Topoisomerase 2 in Regulation of Drosophila Chromosome Structure 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(10):e1004739.
Topoisomerase II is a major component of mitotic chromosomes but its role in the assembly and structural maintenance of chromosomes is rather controversial, as different chromosomal phenotypes have been observed in various organisms and in different studies on the same organism. In contrast to vertebrates that harbor two partially redundant Topo II isoforms, Drosophila and yeasts have a single Topo II enzyme. In addition, fly chromosomes, unlike those of yeast, are morphologically comparable to vertebrate chromosomes. Thus, Drosophila is a highly suitable system to address the role of Topo II in the assembly and structural maintenance of chromosomes. Here we show that modulation of Top2 function in living flies by means of mutant alleles of different strength and in vivo RNAi results in multiple cytological phenotypes. In weak Top2 mutants, meiotic chromosomes of males exhibit strong morphological abnormalities and dramatic segregation defects, while mitotic chromosomes of larval brain cells are not affected. In mutants of moderate strength, mitotic chromosome organization is normal, but anaphases display frequent chromatin bridges that result in chromosome breaks and rearrangements involving specific regions of the Y chromosome and 3L heterochromatin. Severe Top2 depletion resulted in many aneuploid and polyploid mitotic metaphases with poorly condensed heterochromatin and broken chromosomes. Finally, in the almost complete absence of Top2, mitosis in larval brains was virtually suppressed and in the rare mitotic figures observed chromosome morphology was disrupted. These results indicate that different residual levels of Top2 in mutant cells can result in different chromosomal phenotypes, and that the effect of a strong Top2 depletion can mask the effects of milder Top2 reductions. Thus, our results suggest that the previously observed discrepancies in the chromosomal phenotypes elicited by Topo II downregulation in vertebrates might depend on slight differences in Topo II concentration and/or activity.
Author Summary
Type II topoisomerases (Topo II) are enzymes that disentangle DNA molecules during essential cellular processes such as DNA replication, chromosome condensation and mitotic cell division. Topo II is a major component of mitotic chromosomes and it is a well known target for cancer chemotherapy. Topo II inhibitors block the Topo II enzymatic activity leading to extensive DNA damage, which ultimately kills the cancer cell. Thus, investigating the role of Topo II in the assembly and structural maintenance of chromosomes is not only relevant to understand chromosome biology but might also have a translational impact on cancer therapy. Here we used Drosophila as model system to analyze the effect of Topo II depletion on chromosome stability. We show that the chromosomal phenotypes of mutant flies vary with the amount of residual Topo II, ranging from site-specific chromosome breaks, variations in chromosome number (aneuploidy and poliploidy) and dramatic defects in chromosome morphology. The chromosomal phenotypes observed in flies recapitulate all phenotypes seen in Topo II-depleted vertebrate chromosomes, reconciling the phenotypic discrepancies reported in previous studies. In addition, our finding that the Topo II dependent phenotypes vary with the residual amount of the enzyme provides useful information on the possible outcome of cancer therapy with Topo II inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4207652  PMID: 25340516
11.  Reduced topoisomerase II activity in multidrug-resistant human non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;71(1):40-47.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) cell lines often have a compound phenotype, combining reduced drug accumulation with a decrease in topoisomerase II. We have analysed alterations in topoisomerase II in MDR derivatives of the human lung cancer cell line SW-1573. Selection with doxorubicin frequently resulted in reduced topo II alpha mRNA and protein levels, whereas clones selected with vincristine showed normal levels of topo II alpha. No alterations of topo II beta levels were detected. To determine the contribution of topo II alterations to drug resistance, topo II activity was analysed by the determination of DNA breaks induced by the topo II-inhibiting drug 4'-(9-acridinylamino)methane-sulphon-m-anisidide (m-AMSA) in living cells, as m-AMSA is not affected by the drug efflux mechanism in the SW-1573 cells. The number of m-AMSA-induced DNA breaks correlated well (r = 0.96) with in vitro m-AMSA sensitivity. Drug sensitivity, however, did not always correlate with reduced topo II mRNA or protein levels. In one of the five doxorubicin-selected clones m-AMSA resistance and a reduction in m-AMSA-induced DNA breaks were found in the absence of reduced topo II protein levels. Therefore, we assume that post-translational modifications of topo II also contribute to drug resistance in SW-1573 cells. These results suggest that methods that detect quantitative as well as qualitative alterations of topo II should be used to predict the responsiveness of tumours to cytotoxic agents. The assay we used, which measures DNA breaks as an end point of topo II activity, could be a good candidate.
PMCID: PMC2033439  PMID: 7819046
12.  Interplay between Type 1A Topoisomerases and Gyrase in Chromosome Segregation in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(8):1758-1768.
Escherichia coli possesses two type 1A topoisomerases, Topo I (topA) and Topo III (topB). Topo I relaxes excess negative supercoiling, and topA mutants can grow only in the presence of compensatory mechanisms, such as gyrase mutations. topB mutants grow as well as wild-type cells. In vitro, Topo III, but not Topo I, can efficiently decatenate DNA during replication. However, in vivo, a chromosome segregation defect is seen only when both type 1A topoisomerases are absent. Here we present experimental evidence for an interplay between gyrase and type 1A topoisomerases in chromosome segregation. We found that both the growth defect and the Par− phenotypes of a gyrB(Ts) mutant at nonpermissive temperatures were significantly corrected by deleting topA, but only when topB was present. Overproducing Topo IV, the major cellular decatenase, could not substitute for topB. We also show that overproducing Topo III at a very high level could suppress the Par− phenotype. We previously found that the growth and chromosome segregation defects of a triple topA rnhA gyrB(Ts) mutant in which gyrase supercoiling activity was strongly inhibited could be corrected by overproducing Topo III (V. Usongo, F. Nolent, P. Sanscartier, C. Tanguay, S. Broccoli, I. Baaklini, K. Drlica, and M. Drolet, Mol. Microbiol. 69:968-981, 2008). We show here that this overproduction could be bypassed by substituting the gyrB(Ts) allele for a gyrB+ one or by growing cells in a minimal medium, conditions that reduced both topA- and rnhA-dependent unregulated replication. Altogether, our data point to a role for Topo III in chromosome segregation when gyrase is inefficient and suggest that Topo I plays an indirect role via supercoiling regulation.
PMCID: PMC3624552  PMID: 23396913
13.  Proteasomal inhibition stabilizes topoisomerase IIα protein and reverses resistance to the topoisomerase II poison ethonafide (AMP-53, 6-ethoxyazonafide) 
Biochemical pharmacology  2007;75(4):883-890.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy of plasma cells. Although multiple myeloma patients often respond to initial therapy, the majority of patients will relapse with disease that is refractory to further drug treatment. Thus, new therapeutic strategies are needed. One common mechanism of acquired drug resistance involves a reduction in the expression or function of the drug target. We hypothesized that the cytotoxic activity of topoisomerase II (topo II) poisons could be enhanced, and drug resistance overcome, by increasing the expression and activity of the drug target, topo II in myeloma cells. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the cytotoxicity of the anthracene-containing topo II poison, ethonafide (AMP-53/6-ethoxyazonafide), in combination with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (PS-341/Velcade). Combination drug activity studies were done in 8226/S myeloma cells and its drug resistant subclone, 8226/Dox1V. We found that a 24-hour treatment of cells with bortezomib maximally increased topo IIα protein expression and activity, and consistently increased the cytotoxicity of ethonafide in the 8226/S and 8226/Dox1V cell lines. This increase in cytotoxicity corresponded to an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, as measured by the neutral comet assay. Therefore, increasing topo IIα expression through inhibition of proteasomal degradation increased DNA double-strand breaks and enhanced the cytotoxicity of the topo II poison ethonafide. These data suggest that bortezomib-mediated stabilization of topo IIα expression may potentiate the cytotoxic activity of topo II poisons and thereby, provide a strategy to circumvent drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC2271051  PMID: 18062937
topoisomerase IIα; proteasome inhibition; multiple myeloma; combination therapy
14.  Overproduction of topoisomerase II in an ataxia telangiectasia fibroblast cell line: comparison with a topoisomerase II-overproducing hamster cell mutant. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1989;17(4):1337-1351.
Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) cell lines are characterised by their hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation and bleomycin, and their failure to inhibit DNA synthesis after DNA damage. A recent report [Singh et al. (1988) Nucl. Acids Res. 16, 3919-3929] indicated that a reduction in topoisomerase II (topo II) activity was a feature of AT lymphoblast cell lines. We have studied the possible role of DNA topoisomerases in determining the phenotype of an AT fibroblast cell line. AT5BIVA cells are sensitive to the topo II inhibitors etoposide (VP16) and amsacrine (m-AMSA), compared to normal human fibroblasts (MRC5-V1 and VA13). AT5BIVA cells express a 3-fold higher level of topo II protein than MRC5-V1 cells, and 6-fold higher than VA13. This is reflected in elevated topo II activity in AT5BIVA cells. Untransformed AT5BI cells also show elevated topo II activity compared to untransformed normal cells. The extent of overproduction of topo II in AT5BIVA cells is comparable with that seen in a mutant Chinese hamster cell line, ADR-1, which is similarly hypersensitive to both bleomycin and topo II inhibitors. However, ADR-1 cells show neither hypersensitivity to ionizing radiation nor abnormal inhibition of DNA synthesis following DNA damage. Topo II overproduction per se does not appear sufficient to generate an "AT-like" phenotype. AT5BIVA cells express a reduced level of topoisomerase I (topo I) and are hypersensitive to the topo I inhibitor, camptothecin. ADR-1 cells express a normal level of topo I, indicating that a reduction in the level of topo I is not the inevitable consequence of an elevation in topo II.
PMCID: PMC331807  PMID: 2537956
15.  ERK1/2 Signaling Plays an Important Role in Topoisomerase II Poison-Induced G2/M Checkpoint Activation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50281.
Topo II poisons, which target topoisomerase II (topo II) to generate enzyme mediated DNA damage, have been commonly used for anti-cancer treatment. While clinical evidence demonstrate a capability of topo II poisons in inducing apoptosis in cancer cells, accumulating evidence also show that topo II poison treatment frequently results in cell cycle arrest in cancer cells, which was associated with subsequent resistance to these treatments. Results in this report indicate that treatment of MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells with topo II poisons resulted in an increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and an subsequent induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, inhibition of ERK1/2 activation using specific inhibitors markedly attenuated the topo II poison-induced G2/M arrest and diminished the topo II poison-induced activation of ATR and Chk1 kinases. Moreover, decreased expression of ATR by specific shRNA diminished topo II poison-induced G2/M arrest but had no effect on topo II poison-induced ERK1/2 activation. In contrast, inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling had little, if any, effect on topo II poison-induced ATM activation. In addition, ATM inhibition by either incubation of cells with ATM specific inhibitor or transfection of cells with ATM specific siRNA did not block topo II poison-induced G2/M arrest. Ultimately, inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling greatly enhanced topo II poison-induced apoptosis. These results implicate a critical role for ERK1/2 signaling in the activation of G2/M checkpoint response following topo II poison treatment, which protects cells from topo II poison-induced apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3500378  PMID: 23166842
16.  Autonomous parvovirus DNA replication requires topoisomerase I and its activity is increased during infection. 
Journal of Virology  1991;65(3):1662-1665.
Topoisomerases I and II (topo I and topo II) are nuclear enzymes functioning to resolve DNA topological problems during replication, transcription, and other DNA processes. We tested the effects of camptothecin and VP16, specific inhibitors of topo I and II, respectively, on the DNA replication of parvoviruses LuIII and H-1 and found that viral DNA synthesis was suppressed by camptothecin but not by VP16. Transcription of H-1 virus was measured by a nuclear runoff assay and showed no inhibition by camptothecin. Interestingly, topo I in the LuIII virus-infected cell nuclear extract appears to have more activity for covalently binding to viral DNA than that in mock-infected cell nuclear extracts. Our data suggested that this activity was not due to an increased transcription of the topo I gene or to greater amounts of topo I.
PMCID: PMC239959  PMID: 1847484
17.  Protein kinase CK2 is a central regulator of topoisomerase I hyperphosphorylation and camptothecin sensitivity in cancer cell lines† 
Biochemistry  2011;50(5):704-714.
Topoisomerase I (topo I) is required to unwind DNA during synthesis, and provides the unique target for camptothecin-derived chemotherapeutic agents, including Irinotecan and Topotecan. While these agents are highly effective anticancer agents, some tumors do not respond due to intrinsic or acquired resistance, a process that remains poorly understood. Because of treatment toxicity, there is interest in identifying cellular factors that regulate tumor sensitivity and might serve as predictive biomarkers of therapy sensitivity. Here we identify the serine kinase, protein kinase CK2, as a central regulator of topo I hyperphosphorylation and activity, and cellular sensitivity to camptothecin. In 9 cancer cell lines and 3 normal tissue-derived cell lines we observe a consistent correlation between CK2 levels and camptothecin responsiveness. Two other topo I-targeted serine kinases, protein kinase C and cyclin-dependent kinase1, do not show this correlation. Camptothecin-sensitive cancer cell lines display high CK2 activity, hyperphosphorylation of topo I, elevated topo I activity, and elevated phosphorylation-dependent complex formation between topo I and p14ARF, a topo I activator. Camptothecin-resistant cancer cell lines and normal cell lines display lower CK2 activity, lower topo I phosphorylation, lower topo I activity, and undetectable topo I/p14ARF complex formation. Experimental inhibition or activation of CK2 demonstrates that CK2 is necessary and sufficient for regulating these topo I properties and altering cellular responses to camptothecin. The results establish a cause and effect relationship between CK2 activity and camptothecin sensitivity, and suggest that CK2, topo I phosphorylation, or topo I/p14ARF complex formation could provide biomarkers of therapy responsive tumors.
PMCID: PMC3046806  PMID: 21182307
topoisomerase I; camptothecin; protein kinase CK2; phosphorylation; therapy resistance
18.  Nuclear interactions of topoisomerase II α and β with phospholipid scramblase 1 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(12):4076-4085.
DNA topoisomerase (topo) II modulates DNA topology and is essential for cell division. There are two isoforms of topo II (α and β) that have limited functional redundancy, although their catalytic mechanisms appear the same. Using their COOH-terminal domains (CTDs) in yeast two-hybrid analysis, we have identified phospholipid scramblase 1 (PLSCR1) as a binding partner of both topo II α and β. Although predominantly a plasma membrane protein involved in phosphatidylserine externalization, PLSCR1 can also be imported into the nucleus where it may have a tumour suppressor function. The interactions of PLSCR1 and topo II were confirmed by pull-down assays with topo II α and β CTD fusion proteins and endogenous PLSCR1, and by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous PLSCR1 and topo II α and β from HeLa cell nuclear extracts. PLSCR1 also increased the decatenation activity of human topo IIα. A conserved basic sequence in the CTD of topo IIα was identified as being essential for binding to PLSCR1 and binding of the two proteins could be inhibited by a synthetic peptide corresponding to topo IIα amino acids 1430-1441. These studies reveal for the first time a physical and functional interaction between topo II and PLSCR1.
PMCID: PMC1919507  PMID: 17567603
19.  Roles of Type 1A Topoisomerases in Genome Maintenance in Escherichia coli 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(8):e1004543.
In eukaryotes, type 1A topoisomerases (topos) act with RecQ-like helicases to maintain the stability of the genome. Despite having been the first type 1A enzymes to be discovered, much less is known about the involvement of the E. coli topo I (topA) and III (topB) enzymes in genome maintenance. These enzymes are thought to have distinct cellular functions: topo I regulates supercoiling and R-loop formation, and topo III is involved in chromosome segregation. To better characterize their roles in genome maintenance, we have used genetic approaches including suppressor screens, combined with microscopy for the examination of cell morphology and nucleoid shape. We show that topA mutants can suffer from growth-inhibitory and supercoiling-dependent chromosome segregation defects. These problems are corrected by deleting recA or recQ but not by deleting recJ or recO, indicating that the RecF pathway is not involved. Rather, our data suggest that RecQ acts with a type 1A topo on RecA-generated recombination intermediates because: 1-topo III overproduction corrects the defects and 2-recQ deletion and topo IIII overproduction are epistatic to recA deletion. The segregation defects are also linked to over-replication, as they are significantly alleviated by an oriC::aph suppressor mutation which is oriC-competent in topA null but not in isogenic topA+ cells. When both topo I and topo III are missing, excess supercoiling triggers growth inhibition that correlates with the formation of extremely long filaments fully packed with unsegregated and diffuse DNA. These phenotypes are likely related to replication from R-loops as they are corrected by overproducing RNase HI or by genetic suppressors of double topA rnhA mutants affecting constitutive stable DNA replication, dnaT::aph and rne::aph, which initiates from R-loops. Thus, bacterial type 1A topos maintain the stability of the genome (i) by preventing over-replication originating from oriC (topo I alone) and R-loops and (ii) by acting with RecQ.
Author Summary
DNA topoisomerases are ubiquitous enzymes that solve the topological problems associated with replication, transcription and recombination. Eukaryotic enzymes of the type 1A family work with RecQ-like helicases such as BLM and Sgs1 and are involved in genome maintenance. Interestingly, E. coli topo I, a type 1A enzyme and the first topoisomerase to be discovered, appears to have distinct cellular functions that are related to supercoiling regulation and to the inhibition of R-loop formation. Here we present data strongly suggesting that these cellular functions are required to inhibit inappropriate replication originating from either oriC, the normal origin of replication, or R-loops that can otherwise lead to severe chromosome segregation defects. Avoiding such inappropriate replication appears to be a key cellular function for genome maintenance, since the other E. coli type 1A topo, topo III, is also involved. Furthermore, our data suggest that bacterial type 1A topos, like their eukaryotic counterparts, can act with RecQ in genome maintenance. Altogether, our data provide new insight into the role of type 1A topos in genome maintenance and reveal an interplay between these enzymes and R-loops, structures that can also significantly affect the stability of the genome as recently shown in numerous studies.
PMCID: PMC4125114  PMID: 25102178
20.  Characterization of DNA topoisomerase activity in two strains of Mycoplasma fermentans and in Mycoplasma pirum. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1997;179(21):6626-6632.
DNA topoisomerases (topos) are essential enzymes that participate in many cellular processes involving DNA. The presence of the DNA-gyrase genes in various mycoplasmas has been reported elsewhere. However, the characterization of DNA topo activity in mycoplasmas has not been previously undertaken. In this study, we characterized the topo activity in extracts of Mycoplasma fermentans K7 and incognitus and in Mycoplasma pirum, as well as in partially purified extract of M. fermentans K7. The topo activity in these microorganisms had the following properties. (i) The relaxation of supercoiled DNA was ATP dependent. (ii) ATP independent relaxation activity was not detected. (iii) Supercoiling of relaxed topoisomers was not observed. (iv) The relaxation activity was inhibited by DNA gyrase and topo IV antagonists (novobiocin and oxolinic acid) and by eukaryotic topo II (m-AMSA [4'-(9-acridylamino)methanesulfon-m-anisidide]) and topo I antagonists (camptothecin). Other eukaryotic topo II antagonists (teniposide and etoposide) did not affect the topo relaxation activity. (v) Two polypeptides of 66 and 180 kDa were found to be associated with the mycoplasma topo activity. These results suggest that the properties of the topo enzyme in these mycoplasma species resemble those of the bacterial topo IV and the eukaryotic and the bacteriophage T4 topo II. The findings that mycoplasma topo is inhibited by both eukaryotic topo II and topo I antagonists and that m-AMSA and camptothecin inhibited the growth of M. fermentans K7 in culture support our conclusion that these mycoplasma species have topo with unique properties.
PMCID: PMC179588  PMID: 9352909
21.  Mechanisms regulating resistance to inhibitors of topoisomerase II 
Inhibitors of topoisomerase II (topo II) are clinically effective in the management of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. The efficacy of anti-tumor drugs targeting topo II is often limited by resistance and studies with in vitro cell culture models have provided several insights on potential mechanisms. Multidrug transporters that are involved in the efflux and consequently reduced cytotoxicity of diverse anti-tumor agents suggest that they play an important role in resistance to clinically active drugs. However, in clinical trials, modulating the multidrug-resistant phenotype with agents that inhibit the efflux pump has not had an impact. Since reduced drug accumulation per se is insufficient to explain tumor cell resistance to topo II inhibitors several studies have focused on characterizing mechanisms that impact on DNA damage mediated by drugs that target the enzyme. Mammalian topo IIα and topo IIβ isozymes exhibit similar catalytic, but different biologic, activities. Whereas topo IIα is associated with cell division, topo IIβ is involved in differentiation. In addition to site specific mutations that can affect drug-induced topo II-mediated DNA damage, post-translation modification of topo II primarily by phosphorylation can potentially affect enzyme-mediated DNA damage and the downstream cytotoxic response of drugs targeting topo II. Signaling pathways that can affect phosphorylation and changes in intracellular calcium levels/calcium dependent signaling that can regulate site-specific phosphorylation of topoisomerase have an impact on downstream cytotoxic effects of topo II inhibitors. Overall, tumor cell resistance to inhibitors of topo II is a complex process that is orchestrated not only by cellular pharmacokinetics but more importantly by enzymatic alterations that govern the intrinsic drug sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC3729981  PMID: 23914174
drug resistance; topoisomerase II; calmodulin inhibitors; topo II phosphorylation; casein kinase I
22.  Induction of neuronal apoptosis by camptothecin, an inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase-I: evidence for cell cycle-independent toxicity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;134(3):757-770.
Camptothecin is an S-phase-specific anticancer agent that inhibits the activity of the enzyme DNA topoisomerase-I (topo-I). Irreversible DNA double-strand breaks are produced during DNA synthesis in the presence of camptothecin, suggesting that this agent should not be toxic to nondividing cells, such as neurons. Unexpectedly, camptothecin induced significant, dose-dependent cell death of postmitotic rat cortical neurons in vitro; astrocytes were more resistant. Aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA polymerase alpha, did not prevent camptothecin-induced neuronal death, while death was prevented by actinomycin D and 5,6- dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosyl benzimidazole as well as cycloheximide and anisomycin, inhibitors of RNA and protein synthesis, respectively. Camptothecin-induced neuronal death was apoptotic, as characterized by chromatin condensation, cytoplasmic shrinking, plasma membrane blebbing, and fragmentation of neurites. DNA fragmentation was also confirmed by the use of the in situ DNA end labeling assay. In addition, aurintricarboxylic acid, an inhibitor of the apoptotic endonuclease, partially protected against camptothecin-induced neuronal death. The toxicity of stereoisomers of a camptothecin analogue was stereospecific, demonstrating that toxicity was a result of inhibition of topo-I. The difference in sensitivity to camptothecin between neurons and astrocytes correlated with their transcriptional activity and level of topo-I protein expression. These data indicate important roles for topo-I in postmitotic neurons and suggest that topo-I inhibitors can induce apoptosis independent of DNA synthesis. We suggest a model based on transcriptionally mediated DNA damage, a novel mechanism of action of topo-I poisons.
PMCID: PMC2120941  PMID: 8707853
23.  Inhibition of DNA topoisomerase II by ICRF-193 induces polyploidization by uncoupling chromosome dynamics from other cell cycle events 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;126(6):1341-1351.
ICRF-193, a novel noncleavable, complex-stabilizing type topoisomerase (topo) II inhibitor, has been shown to target topo II in mammalian cells (Ishida, R., T. Miki, T. Narita, R. Yui, S. Sato, K. R. Utsumi, K. Tanabe, and T. Andoh. 1991. Cancer Res. 51:4909-4916). With the aim of elucidating the roles of topo II in mammalian cells, we examined the effects of ICRF-193 on the transition through the S phase, when the genome is replicated, and through the M phase, when the replicated genome is condensed and segregated. Replication of the genome did not appear to be affected by the drug because the scheduled synthesis of DNA and activation of cdc2 kinase followed by increase in mitotic index occurred normally, while VP-16, a cleavable, complex-stabilizing type topo II inhibitor, inhibited all these processes. In the M phase, however, late stages of chromosome condensation and segregation were clearly blocked by ICRF-193. Inhibition at the stage of compaction of 300-nm diameter chromatin fibers to 600-nm diameter chromatids was demonstrated using the drug during premature chromosome condensation (PCC) induced in tsBN2 baby hamster kidney cells in early S and G2 phases. In spite of interference with M phase chromosome dynamics, other mitotic events such as activation of cdc2 kinase, spindle apparatus reorganization and disassembly and reassembly of nuclear envelopes occurred, and the cells traversed an unusual M phase termed "absence of chromosome segregation" (ACS)-M phase. Cells then continued through further cell cycle rounds, becoming polyploid and losing viability. This effect of ICRF-193 on the cell cycle was shown to parallel that of inactivation of topo II on the cell cycle of the ts top2 mutant yeast. The results strongly suggest that the essential roles of topo II are confined to the M phase, when the enzyme decatenates intertwined replicated chromosomes. In other phases of the cycle, including the S phase, topo II may thus play a complementary role with topo I in controlling the torsional strain accumulated in various genetic processes.
PMCID: PMC2290951  PMID: 8089169
24.  Bacillus cereus DNA topoisomerase I and IIIα: purification, characterization and complementation of Escherichia coli TopoIII activity 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(17):5415-5425.
The Bacillus cereus genome possesses three type IA topoisomerase genes. These genes, encoding DNA topoisomerase I and IIIα (bcTopo I, bcTopo IIIα), have been cloned into T7 RNA polymerase-regulated plasmid expression vectors and the enzymes have been overexpressed, purified and characterized. The proteins exhibit similar biochemical activity to their Escherichia coli counterparts, DNA topoisomerase I and III (ecTopo I, ecTopo III). bcTopo I is capable of efficiently relaxing negatively supercoiled DNA in the presence of Mg2+ but does not possess an efficient DNA decatenation activity. bcTopo IIIα is an active topoisomerase that is capable of relaxing supercoiled DNA at a broad range of Mg2+ concentrations; however, its DNA relaxation activity is not as efficient as that of bcTopo I. In addition, bcTopo III is a potent DNA decatenase that resolves oriC-based plasmid replication intermediates in vitro. Interestingly, bcTopo I and bcTopo IIIα are both able to compensate for the loss of ecTopo III in E.coli cells that lack ecTopo I. In contrast, ecTopo I cannot substitute for ecTopo III under these conditions.
PMCID: PMC1236973  PMID: 16192570
25.  The p14ARF Alternate Reading Frame Protein Enhances DNA Binding of Topoisomerase I by Interacting with the Serine 506-Phosphorylated Core Domain 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58835.
In addition to its well-characterized function as a tumor suppressor, p14ARF (ARF) is a positive regulator of topoisomerase I (topo I), a central enzyme in DNA metabolism and a target for cancer therapy. We previously showed that topo I hyperphosphorylation, a cancer-associated event mediated by elevated levels of the protein kinase CK2, increases topo I activity and the cellular sensitivity to topo I-targeted drugs. Topo I hyperphosphorylation also increases its interaction with ARF. Because the ARF−topo I interaction could be highly relevant to DNA metabolism and cancer treatment, we identified the regions of topo I involved in ARF binding and characterized the effects of ARF binding on topo I function. Using a series of topo I deletion constructs, we found that ARF interacted with the topo I core domain, which encompasses most of the catalytic and DNA-interacting residues. ARF binding increased the DNA relaxation activity of hyperphosphorylated topo I by enhancing its association with DNA, but did not affect the topo I catalytic rate. In cells, ARF promoted the chromatin association of hyperphosphorylated, but not basal phosphorylated, topo I, and increased topo I-mediated DNA nicking under conditions of oxidative stress. The aberrant nicking was found to correlate with increased formation of DNA double-strand breaks, which are precursors of many genome destabilizing events. The results suggest that the convergent actions of oxidative stress and elevated CK2 and ARF levels, which are common features of cancer cells, lead to a dysregulation of topo I that may contribute both to the cellular response to topo I-targeted drugs and to genome instability.
PMCID: PMC3608632  PMID: 23555599

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