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J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 11;278(15):12696-702. Epub 2003 Feb 4.

Phosphorylation of serine 1106 in the catalytic domain of topoisomerase II alpha regulates enzymatic activity and drug sensitivity.

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Experimental Therapeutics Program, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


Topoisomerases alter DNA topology and are vital for the maintenance of genomic integrity. Topoisomerases I and II are also targets for widely used antitumor agents. We demonstrated previously that in the human leukemia cell line, HL-60, resistance to topoisomerase (topo) II-targeting drugs such as etoposide is associated with site-specific hypophosphorylation of topo II alpha. This effect can be mimicked in sensitive cells treated with the intracellular Ca(2+) chelator, 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA-AM). Here we identify Ser-1106 as a major phosphorylation site in the catalytic domain of topo II alpha. This site lies within the consensus sequence for the acidotrophic kinases, casein kinase I and casein kinase II. Mutation of serine 1106 to alanine (S1106A) abrogates phosphorylation of phosphopeptides that were found to be hypophosphorylated in resistant HL-60 cells or sensitive cells treated with BAPTA-AM. Purified topo II alpha containing a S1106A substitution is 4-fold less active than wild type topo II alpha in decatenating kinetoplast DNA and also exhibits a 2-4-fold decrease in the level of etoposide-stabilized DNA cleavable complex formation. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (JN394t2-4) cells expressing S1106A mutant topo II alpha protein are more resistant to the cytotoxic effects of etoposide or amsacrine. These results demonstrate that Ca(2+)-regulated phosphorylation of Ser-1106 in the catalytic domain of topo II alpha modulates the enzymatic activity of this protein and sensitivity to topo II-targeting drugs.

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