Strategic down-regulation of DNA polymerase beta by antisense RNA sensitizes mammalian cells to specific DNA damaging agents.


Previously, mouse NIH 3T3 cells were stably transfected with human DNA ...
Previously, mouse NIH 3T3 cells were stably transfected with human DNA polymerase beta (beta-pol) cDNA in the antisense orientation and under the control of a metallothionein promoter [Zmudzka, B.Z. and Wilson, S.H. (1990) Som. Cell Mol. Gen., 16, 311-320]. To assess the feasibility of enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy by an antisense approach and to confirm a role for beta-pol in cellular DNA repair, we looked for increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents under conditions where beta-pol is down-regulated in the antisense cell line. Such a sensitization is anticipated only where beta-pol is rate-limiting in a DNA repair pathway. A number of agents were tested: cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II (cisplatin); 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1- nitrosourea (BCNU); ionizing radiation and the radio-mimetic drug bleomycin; the bifunctional alkylating agents nitrogen mustard and L-phenylalanine mustard (melphalan); the monofunctional alkylating agent methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the cases of cisplatin and UV radiation, a significant enhancement of cytotoxicity was observed. Damage as a result of both of these agents is thought to be repaired by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. The results suggest that, in this cell line, beta-pol is involved in and is rate-limiting in NER. We propose that down-regulation of beta-pol by antisense approaches might be used to enhance the cytotoxic effects of cisplatin and other DNA damaging chemotherapeutic agents.




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