DNA binding and topoisomerase I poisoning activities of novel disaccharide indolocarbazoles

Michaël Facompre, Carolina Carrasco, Pierre Colson, Claude Houssier, John D. Chisholm, David L. Van Vranken, Christian Bailly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The antibiotics AT2433-A1 and AT2433-B1 are two indolocarbazole diglycosides related to the antitumor drug rebeccamycin known to stabilize topoisomerase I-DNA complexes. This structural analogy prompted us to explore the binding of four indolocarbazole diglycosides with DNA and their capacity to interfere with the DNA cleavage-reunion reaction catalyzed by topoisomerase I. The molecular basis of the drug interaction with double-stranded DNA and with purified chromatin, with particular emphasis on the role of the carbohydrate moiety, was investigated by means of complementary spectroscopic techniques, including surface plasmon resonance and electric linear dichroism. We compared the DNA binding properties, sequence recognition, and effects on topoisomerase I-mediated DNA relaxation and cleavage of AT2433-A1 bearing a 2,4-dideoxy-4-methylamino-L-xylose residue, its dechlorinated analog AT2433-B1, the diastereoisomer iso-AT2433-B1 with an inverted aminosugar residue, and compounds 5H-indolo[2,3-a]pyrrolo[3,4-c]carbazole-5,7(6H)-dione, 12-β-D-glucopyranosyl-12,13-dihydro-6-methyl (JDC-108) and 5H-indolo[2,3-a]pyrrolo[3, 4-c]carbazole-5,7(6H)-dione, 12-(6-O-α-D-galacto- pyranosyl-β-D-glucopyranosyl)-12,13-dihydro-6-methyl (JDC-277) with an uncharged mono- and disaccharide, respectively. The two antibiotics AT2433-A1 and AT2433-B1 proved to be highly cytotoxic to leukemia cells and this may be a consequence of their tight intercalative binding to DNA, preferentially into GC-rich sequences as inferred from DNase I footprinting studies and surface plasmon resonance measurements. Like the diastereoisomer iso-AT2433-B1, they have no inhibitory effect on topoisomerase I, in contrast to the uncharged diglycoside JDC-277, which stimulates DNA cleavage by the enzyme mainly at TG sites, as observed with camptothecin. Cytotoxicity measurements with CEM and CEM/C2 human leukemia cell lines sensitive and resistant to camptothecin, respectively, also suggested that topoisomerase I contributes, at least partially, to the mechanism of action of the neutral diglycoside JDC-277 but not to that of the cationic AT2433 compounds. Together, the results indicate that sequence-selective DNA interaction and topoisomerase I inhibition is controlled to a large extent by the stereochemistry of the diglycoside moiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1227
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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