Journal Article

DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK)-deficient human glioblastoma cells are preferentially sensitized by Zebularine

Jarah A. Meador, Yanrong Su, Jean-Luc Ravanat and Adayabalam S. Balajee

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 2, pages 184-191
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK)-deficient human glioblastoma cells are preferentially sensitized by Zebularine

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Brain tumor cells respond poorly to radiotherapy and chemotherapy due to inherently efficient anti-apoptotic and DNA repair mechanisms. This necessitates the development of new strategies for brain cancer therapy. Here, we report that the DNA-demethylating agent Zebularine preferentially sensitizes the killing of human glioblastomas deficient in DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). In contrast to DNA-PK-proficient human glioblastoma cells (MO59K), cytotoxicity assay with increasing Zebularine concentrations up to 300 μM resulted in a specific elevation of cell killing in DNA-PK-deficient MO59J cells. Further, an elevated frequency of polyploid cells observed in MO59J cells after Zebularine treatment pointed out a deficiency in mitotic checkpoint control. Existence of mitotic checkpoint deficiency in MO59J cells was confirmed by the abnormal centrosome number observed in Zebularine-treated MO59J cells. Although depletion of DNA methyltransferase 1 by Zebularine occurred at similar levels in both cell lines, MO59J cells displayed increased extent of DNA demethylation detected both at the gene promoter-specific level and at the genome overall level. Consistent with increased sensitivity, deoxy-Zebularine adduct level in the genomic DNA was 3- to 6-fold higher in MO59J than in MO59K cells. Elevated micronuclei frequency observed after Zebularine treatment in MO59J cells indicates the impairment of DNA repair response in MO59J cells. Collectively, our study suggests that DNA-PK is the major determining factor for cellular response to Zebularine.

Journal Article.  5971 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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