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Exp Hematol. 2013 Feb;41(2):180-188.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2012.10.007. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Replication-dependent irreversible topoisomerase 1 poisoning is responsible for FdUMP[10] anti-leukemic activity.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Previous studies have indicated that 5-Fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine-5'-O-monophosphate 10mer (FdUMP[10]) displays strong antileukemic activity through the dual targeting of thymidylate synthase (TS) and DNA topoisomerase 1 (Top1). The present studies were undertaken to clarify the relationship between the induction of a thymineless state and the formation of Top1 cleavage complexes (Top1CC) for inducing cell death and to clarify the role of DNA replication for induction of lethal DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in FdUMP[10]-treated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Human promyelocytic (HL60) and AML (KG1a, Molm13, THP-1) cells were synchronized by serum starvation and treated with FdUMP[10] with thymidine (Thy) rescue. Cells were assayed for TS inhibition, DNA DSBs, Top1CC, and apoptosis to clarify the interrelationship of TS inhibition and Top1CC for cell death. FdUMP[10] induced a thymineless state in AML cells and exogenous Thy administered within the first 18 hours of treatment rescued FdUMP[10]-induced Top1CC formation, γH2AX phosphorylation, and apoptosis induction. Exogenous Thy was not effective after cells had committed to mitosis and undergone cell division in the presence of FdUMP[10]. FdUMP[10] treatment resulted in Chk1 activation, and Chk1 inhibition enhanced FdUMP[10]-induced DNA damage and apoptosis. Jnk-signaling was required for FdUMP[10]-induced apoptosis in promyelocytic HL60 cells and in THP1 cells, but was antiapoptotic in Molm13 and to a lesser extent KG1a AML cells. The results are consistent with FdUMP[10] inducing a thymineless state, leading to misincorporation of FdU into genomic DNA of proliferating cells. Top1CC form in cells upon re-entry into S-phase, resulting in DNA double-strand breaks, and initiating apoptotic signaling that can be either muted or enhanced by Jnk-signaling depending on cell type.

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