Reactive oxygen species modify DNA, generating various DNA lesions including modified bases such as 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG). These base-modified DNA lesions have been shown to trap DNA topoisomerase I (TOP1) into covalent cleavage complexes. In this study, we have investigated the role of TOP1 in hydrogen peroxide toxicity. We showed that ectopic expression of TOP1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae conferred sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, and this sensitivity was dependent on RAD9 checkpoint function. Moreover, in the mammalian cell culture system, hydrogen peroxide-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis were shown to be partly TOP1-dependent as evidenced by a specific increase in resistance to hydrogen peroxide in TOP1-deficient P388/CPT45 murine leukemia cells as compared with their TOP1-proficient parental cell line P388. In addition, hydrogen peroxide was shown to induce TOP1-DNA cross-links. These results support a model in which hydrogen peroxide promotes the trapping of TOP1 on oxidative DNA lesions to form TOP1-DNA cleavage complexes that contribute to hydrogen peroxide toxicity.
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