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Probing the interaction of the cytotoxic bisdioxopiperazine ICRF-193 with the closed enzyme clamp of human topoisomerase II alpha

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sheila Patel, Professor Caroline AustinORCiD


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Topoisomerase II is an ATP-operated protein clamp that captures a DNA helix and transports it through another DNA duplex, allowing chromosome segregation at mitosis. A number of cytotoxic bisdioxopiperazines such as ICRF-193 target topoisomerase II by binding and trapping the closed enzyme clamp. To investigate this unusual mode of action, we have used yeast to select plasmid-borne human topoisomerase II alpha alleles resistant to ICRF-193. Mutations in topoisomerase II alpha of Leu-169 to Phe (L169F) (in the N-terminal ATPase domain) and Ala-648 to Pro (A648P) (in the core domain) were identified as conferring >50-fold and 5-fold resistance to ICRF-193 in vivo, respectively. The L169F mutation, located next to the Walker A box ATP-binding sequence, resulted in a mutant enzyme displaying ICRF-193-resistant topoisomerase and ATPase activities and whose closed clamp was refractory to ICRF-193-mediated trapping as an annulus on closed circular DNA. These data imply that the mutation interferes directly with ICRF-193 binding to the N-terminal ATPase gate. In contrast, the A648P enzyme displayed topoisomerase activities exhibiting wild-type sensitivity to ICRF-193. We suggest that the inefficient trapping of the A648P closed clamp results either from the observed increased ATP requirement, or more likely, from lowered salt stability, perhaps involving destabilization of ICRF-193 interactions with the B'-B' interface in the core domain. These results provide evidence for at least two different phenotypic classes of ICRF-193 resistance mutations and suggest that bisdioxopiperazine action involves the interplay of both the ATPase and core domains of topoisomerase II alpha.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Austin CA; Patel S; Jazrawi E; Creighton AM; Fisher LM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Pharmacology

Year: 2000

Volume: 58

Issue: 3

Pages: 560-568

ISSN (print): 0026-895X

ISSN (electronic): 1521-0111

Publisher: American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics