Journal Article

The anti-cancer drug camptothecin inhibits elongation but stimulates initiation of RNA polymerase II transcription

Mats Ljungman and Philip C. Hanawalt

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 1, pages 31-36
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.1.31
The anti-cancer drug camptothecin inhibits elongation but stimulates initiation of RNA polymerase II transcription

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Camptothecin is a widely used anti-tumor drug that specifically inhibits DNA topoisomerase I. It is believed that topoisomerase I participates in the process of transcription by relaxing torsional stress induced in the duplex DNA by the elongating RNA polymerase. We have assessed the effects of camptothecin on RNA polymerase II transcription from the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Using in vivo [3H]uridine pulse labeling and in vitro nuclear run-on techniques to estimate relative rates of transcription, it was found that camptothecin stimulated RNA synthesis from promoter-proximal sequences of the DHFR gene, while transcription from promoter-distal sequences was reduced. Furthermore, camptothecin caused a significant accumulation of RNA polymerases in the 5'-end of the DHFR gene. The effect of camptothecin on transcription was reversible, resulting in a wave of RNA synthesis recovery in a 5' to 3' direction through the DHFR gene following a chase with camptothecin-free medium. We conclude that camptothecin stimulates initiation but inhibits elongation of the RNA polymerase II transcribed DHFR gene.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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