Agents that target topoisomerase I are widely utilized to treat human cancer. Previous studies have indicated that both the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)/ checkpoint kinase (Chk) 2 and ATM- and Rad 3-related (ATR)/Chk1 checkpoint pathways are activated after treatment with these agents. The relative contributions of these two pathways to survival of cells after treatment with topoisomerase I poisons are currently unknown. To address this issue, we assessed the roles of ATR, Chk1, ATM, and Chk2 in cells treated with the topoisomerase I poisons camptothecin and 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN-38), the active metabolite of irinotecan. Colony forming assays demonstrated that down-regulation of ATR or Chk1 sensitized cells to SN-38 and camptothecin. In contrast, ATM and Chk2 had minimal effect of sensitivity to SN-38 or camptothecin. Additional experiments demonstrated that the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin, which down-regulates Chk1, also sensitized a variety of human carcinoma cell lines to SN-38. Collectively, these results show that the ATR/Chk1 pathway plays a predominant role in the response to topoisomerase I inhibitors in carcinoma cells and identify a potential approach for enhancing the efficacy of these drugs.
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Flatten, Karen; Dai, Nga T.; Vroman, Benjamin T.; Loegering, David; Erlichman, Charles; Karnitz, Larry M.; and Kaufmann, Scott H.. 2005. The Role of Checkpoint Kinase 1 in Sensitivity to Topoisomerase I Poisons. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Vol.280(14). 14349-14355. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M411890200 PMID: 15699047 ISSN: 0021-9258