Proliferation dependence of topoisomerase II mediated drug action

Biochemistry. 1986 Apr 22;25(8):2248-56. doi: 10.1021/bi00356a060.


Topoisomerase II mediated DNA scission induced by both a nonintercalating agent [4'-demethylepipodophyllotoxin 4-(4,6-O-ethylidene-beta-D-glucopyranoside) (VP-16)] and an intercalator [4'-(9-acridinylamino) methanesulfon-m-anisidide (m-AMSA)] was studied as a function of proliferation in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO), HeLa, and mouse leukemia L1210 cell lines. Log-phase CHO cells exhibited dose-dependent drug-induced DNA breaks, while plateau cells were found to be resistant to the effects of VP-16 and m-AMSA. Neither decreased viability nor altered drug uptake accounted for the drug resistance of these confluent cells. In contrast to CHO cells, plateau-phase HeLa and L1210 cells remained sensitive to VP-16 and m-AMSA. Recovery of drug sensitivity by plateau-phase CHO cells was found to reach a maximum approximately 18 h after these cells regained exponential growth and was independent of DNA synthesis. DNA strand break frequency correlated with cytotoxicity in CHO cells; log cells demonstrated an inverse log linear relationship between drug dose (or DNA damage) and colony survival, whereas plateau-derived colony survival was virtually unaffected by increasing drug dose. Topoisomerase II activity, whether determined by decatenation of kinetoplast DNA, by cleavage of pBR322 DNA, or by precipitation of the DNA-topoisomerase II complex, was uniformly severalfold greater in log-phase CHO cells compared to plateau-phase cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aminoacridines / pharmacology*
  • Amsacrine
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA Replication / drug effects
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / metabolism*
  • Etoposide / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Intercalating Agents / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Leukemia L1210 / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Ovary
  • Plasmids
  • Podophyllotoxin / analogs & derivatives*


  • Aminoacridines
  • Intercalating Agents
  • Amsacrine
  • Etoposide
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II
  • Podophyllotoxin