Research Papers:

The dual topoisomerase inhibitor A35 preferentially and specially targets topoisomerase 2α by enhancing pre-strand and post-strand cleavage and inhibiting DNA religation

Wuli Zhao _, Guohua Jiang, Chongwen Bi, Yangbiao Li, Jingbo Liu, Hongwei He, Liang Li, Danqing Song and Rongguang Shao

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:37871-37894. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5680

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Wuli Zhao1,*, Guohua Jiang2,*, Chongwen Bi1, Yangbiao Li1, Jingbo Liu3, Cheng Ye1, Hongwei He1, Liang Li1, Danqing Song1,*, Rongguang Shao1,*

1Key Laboratory of Antibiotic Bioengineering, Ministry of Health, Laboratory of Oncology, Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

2Analysis and Testing Center, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

3China Meitan General Hospital, Beijing, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Rongguang Shao, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: dual topoisomerase inhibitor, topoisomerase2α, cardiotoxicity, DNA religation, enhancing strand cleavage

Received: May 24, 2015     Accepted: September 25, 2015     Published: October 07, 2015


DNA topoisomerases play a key role in tumor proliferation. Chemotherapeutics targeting topoisomerases have been widely used in clinical oncology, but resistance and side effects, particularly cardiotoxicity, usually limit their application. Clinical data show that a decrease in topoisomerase (top) levels is the primary factor responsible for resistance, but in cells there is compensatory effect between the levels of top1 and top2α. Here, we validated cyclizing-berberine A35, which is a dual top inhibitor and preferentially targets top2α. The impact on the top2α catalytic cycle indicated that A35 could intercalate into DNA but did not interfere with DNA-top binding and top2α ATPase activity. A35 could facilitate DNA-top2α cleavage complex formation by enhancing pre-strand and post-strand cleavage and inhibiting religation, suggesting this compound can be a topoisomerase poison and had a district mechanism from other topoisomerase inhibitors. TARDIS and comet assays showed that A35 could induce cell DNA breakage and DNA-top complexes but had no effect on the cardiac toxicity inducer top2β. Silencing top1 augmented DNA break and silencing top2α decreased DNA break. Further validation in H9c2 cardiac cells showed A35 did not disturb cell proliferation and mitochondrial membrane potency. Additionally, an assay with nude mice further demonstrated A35 did not damage the heart. Our work identifies A35 as a novel skeleton compound dually inhibits topoisomerases, and predominantly and specially targets top2α by interfering with all cleavage steps and its no cardiac toxicity was verified by cardiac cells and mice heart. A35 could be a novel and effective targeting topoisomerase agent.

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PII: 5680