Involvement of the mismatch repair system in temozolomide-induced apoptosis

Stefania D'Atri, Lucio Tentori, Pedro Miguel Lacal, Grazia Graziani, Elena Pagani, Elena Benincasa, Giovanna Zambruno, Enzo Bonmassar, Josef Jiricny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postreplicative mismatch repair plays a major role in mediating the cytotoxicity of agents generating O6-methylguanine in DNA. We previously showed that a methylating antitumor triazene compound, temozolomide, induces apoptosis and that the persistence of O6-methylguanine in DNA is required to trigger the process. We wanted to test whether the latter apoptotic signal is dependent on a functional mismatch repair system. To this end, we used two human lymphoblastoid cell lines (i.e., the mismatch repair-proficient TK6 line and its mismatch repair-deficient subline MT1) that are both deficient in O6-methylguanine repair. Temozolomide treatment of TK6 cells brought about efficient cell growth inhibition, G2/M arrest, and apoptosis, as indicated by the results of cytofluorimetric analysis of 5-bromo-2'- deoxyuridine incorporation and DNA content and evaluation of DNA fragmentation. The drug treatment resulted also in the induction of p53 and p21/waf-1 protein expression. In contrast, MT1 cells were highly resistant to the drug and no p53 and p21/waf-1 induction was observed. Importantly, we could show that MT1 cells are not deficient in the p53-dependent apoptosis pathway; treatment with etoposide, a topoisomerase II inhibitor, resulted in p53 and p21/waf-1 protein expression and apoptosis in both cell lines. In conclusion, we demonstrate the existence of a link between a functional mismatch repair system and the trigger of apoptosis in cells exposed to clinically relevant concentrations of temozolomide. The results also suggest that p53 induction in response to O6-guanine methylation involves the mismatch repair system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Involvement of the mismatch repair system in temozolomide-induced apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this