• Open Access

Ataxia telangiectasia mutated-dependent regulation of topoisomerase II alpha expression and sensitivity to topoisomerase II inhibitor


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

E-mails: smizutani.ped@tmd.ac.jp; m.takagi.pe@tmd.ac.jp


Topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) has a crucial role in proper chromosome condensation and segregation. Here we report the interaction of TOP2A with ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and its phosphorylation in an ATM-dependent manner after DNA damage. In vitro kinase assay and site-directed mutagenesis studies revealed that serine 1512 is the target of phosphorylation through ATM. Serine 1512 to Alanine mutation of TOP2A showed increased stability of the protein, retaining TOP2A activity at least with regard to cell survival activity. Ataxia telangiectasia-derived cell lines showed high levels of TOP2A that were associated with hypersensitivity to the TOP2 inhibitor etoposide. These findings suggest that ATM-dependent TOP2A modification is required for proper regulation of TOP2 stability and subsequently of the sensitivity to TOP2 inhibitor. In a lymphoblastoid cell line derived from a patient who developed MLL rearrangement, positive infant leukemia, defective ATM expression, and increased TOP2A expression were shown. It was intriguing that hypersensitivity to TOP2 inhibitor and susceptibility to MLL gene rearrangement were shown by low-dose etoposide exposure in this cell line. Thus, our findings have clinically important implications for the pathogenesis of infantile acute leukemia as well as treatment-associated secondary leukemia following exposure to TOP2 inhibitors.