Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Histone deacetylase inhibition redistributes topoisomerase IIβ from heterochromatin to euchromatin

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian CowellORCiD, Dr Nikolaos Papageorgiou, Dr Kay Padget, Professor Caroline AustinORCiD



The genome is organized into large scale structures in the interphase nucleus. Pericentromeric heterochromatin represents one such compartment characterized by histones H3 and H4 tri-methylated at K9 and K20 respectively and with a correspondingly low level of histone acetylation. HP1 proteins are concentrated in pericentric heterochromatin and histone deacetylase inhibitors such as trichostatin A (TSA) promote hyperacetylation of heterochromatic nucleosomes and the dispersal of HP1 proteins. We observed that in mouse cells, which contain prominent heterochromatin, DNA topoisomerase IIbeta (topoIIbeta) is also concentrated in heterochromatic regions. Similarly, a detergent-resistant fraction of topoIIbeta is associated with heterochromatin in human cell lines. Treatment with TSA displaced topoIIbeta from the heterochromatin with similar kinetics to the displacement of HP1beta. Topoisomerase II is the cellular target for a number of clinically important cytotoxic anti-cancer agents known collectively as topoisomerase poisons, and it has been previously reported that histone deacetylase inhibitors can sensitize cells to these drugs. While topoIIalpha appears to be the major target for most topoisomerase poisons, histone deacetylase-mediated potentiation of these drugs is dependent on topoIIbeta. We find that while prior treatment with TSA did not increase the quantity of etoposide-mediated topoIIbeta-DNA covalent complexes, it did result in a shift in their distribution from a largely heterochromatin-associated to a pannuclear pattern. We suggest that this redistribution of topoIIbeta converts this isoform of topoII to a effective relevant target for topoisomerase poisons.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cowell IG, Papageorgiou N, Padget K, Watters GP, Austin CA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nucleus

Year: 2011

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-71

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

Date deposited: 08/08/2012

ISSN (print): 1949-1034

ISSN (electronic): 1949-1042

Publisher: Landes Bioscience


DOI: 10.4161/nucl.2.1.14194

PubMed id: 21647300


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
05-179Association for International Cancer Research