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Nitric Oxide Down-Regulates Topoisomerase I and Induces Camptothecin Resistance in Human Breast MCF-7 Tumor Cells.

PloS one (2015-11-06)
Nilesh K Sharma, Ashutosh Kumar, Amrita Kumari, Erik J Tokar, Michael P Waalkes, Carl D Bortner, Jason Williams, Marilyn Ehrenshaft, Ronald P Mason, Birandra K Sinha
ABSTRACT

Camptothecin (CPT), a topoisomerase I poison, is an important drug for the treatment of solid tumors in the clinic. Nitric oxide (·NO), a physiological signaling molecule, is involved in many cellular functions, including cell proliferation, survival and death. We have previously shown that ·NO plays a significant role in the detoxification of etoposide (VP-16), a topoisomerase II poison in vitro and in human melanoma cells. ·NO/·NO-derived species are reported to modulate activity of several important cellular proteins. As topoisomerases contain a number of free sulfhydryl groups which may be targets of ·NO/·NO-derived species, we have investigated the roles of ·NO/·NO-derived species in the stability and activity of topo I. Here we show that ·NO/·NO-derived species induces a significant down-regulation of topoisomerase I protein via the ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway in human colon (HT-29) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines. Importantly, ·NO treatment induced a significant resistance to CPT only in MCF-7 cells. This resistance to CPT did not result from loss of topoisomerase I activity as there were no differences in topoisomerase I-induced DNA cleavage in vitro or in tumor cells, but resulted from the stabilization/induction of bcl2 protein. This up-regulation of bcl2 protein in MCF-7 cells was wtp53 dependent as pifithrine-α, a small molecule inhibitor of wtp53 function, completely reversed CPT resistance, suggesting that wtp53 and bcl2 proteins played important roles in CPT resistance. Because tumors in vivo are heterogeneous and contaminated by infiltrating macrophages, ·NO-induced down-regulation of topoisomerase I protein combined with bcl2 protein stabilization could render certain tumors highly resistant to CPT and drugs derived from it in the clinic.

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