MMC and the Potential for Tailored Therapy
- C ANCER G ENOMICS
Abasic sites (AP sites) are generated in DNA either directly by DNA-damaging agents or by DNA glycosylases acting during base excision repair. These sites are repaired in human cells by the HAP1 protein, which, besides its AP-endonuclease activity, also possesses a redox function. To investigate the ability of HAP1 protein to modulate cell resistance to DNA-damaging agents, CHO cells were transfected with HAP1 cDNA, resulting in stable expression of the protein in the cell nuclei. The sensitivity of the transfected cells to the toxic effect of various agents, e.g. methylmethane sulfonate, bleomycin and H2O2, was not modified. However, the transfected cells became more sensitive to killing by mitomycin C, porfiromycin, daunorubicin and aziridinyl benzoquinone, drugs that are activated by reduction. To test whether the redox function of HAP1 protein was involved in this increased cytotoxicity, we have constructed a mutated HAP1 protein endowed with normal AP-endonuclease activity but deleted for redox function. When this mutated protein was expressed in the cells, elevated AP-endonuclease activity was measured, but sensitization to the lethal effects of compounds requiring bioreduction was no longer observed. These results suggest that HAP1 protein, besides its involvement in DNA repair, is able to activate bioreduction of alkylating drugs used in cancer chemotherapy.