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Br J Cancer. 1996 Aug;74(4):502-7.

Selection of a subpopulation with fewer DNA topoisomerase II alpha gene copies in a doxorubicin-resistant cell line panel.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.


A panel of doxorubicin-resistant sublines of the human small-cell lung carcinoma cell line GLC4 displays decreasing DNA topoisomerase II alpha (TopoII alpha) mRNA levels with increasing resistance. In the present study we describe how this decrease may be regulated. No significant differences in TopoII alpha mRNA stability or gene arrangement were found, using mRNA slot-blotting and Southern blotting, in the most resistant cell line compared with the parental cell line. To investigate if TopoII alpha gene copy loss contributed to the mRNA decrease, fluorescence in situ hybridisation using a TopoII alpha-specific probe was performed. During doxorubicin resistance development, the composition of the population in each cell line shifted with increasing resistance, from a population in which most cells contain three TopoII alpha gene copies (GLC4) to a population in which most cells contain only two copies. A partial revertant of the most resistant cell line displayed a shift back to the original situation. We conclude that the TopoII alpha gene copy number decrease per cell line is in good agreement with the decreased TopoII alpha mRNA and protein levels, and TopoII activity levels in these cell lines which were described previously.

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