The effects of various antileukemic agents on DNA replication associated with the nuclear matrix were investigated in CCRF-CEM leukemia cells. Residual nuclear matrices were prepared by sequential treatment of nuclei with 1.5 m NaCl, DNase I, and Triton X-100 and contained 1–5, 10, and 37% of the total nuclear DNA, protein, and phospholipid, respectively. In control cells pulse-labeled for 45 s with [3H]thymidine, the specific activity of nascent DNA was four-fold greater in the nuclear matrix fraction relative to the specific activity of the high salt-soluble (nonmatrix) DNA fraction. Pulse-labeling and reconstitution experiments indicated that this enrichment of newly replicated DNA on the nuclear matrix did not result from aggregation of nascent DNA with the matrix. A 2-h incubation of tumor cells with either 0.1 µm teniposide (VM-26), 0.2 µm VM-26, or 0.5 µm amsacrine (m-AMSA) reduced the relative specific activity of nascent DNA on the nuclear matrix by 59, 61, and 54%, respectively, compared to control cells. In contrast hydroxyurea and cytosine arabinoside, at concentrations that markedly inhibited total nuclear DNA synthesis, did not decrease the relative specific activity of newly replicated DNA on the matrix. The results provide evidence that the antiproliferative effects of the DNA topoisomerase II inhibitors, VM-26 and m-AMSA, are localized on the nuclear matrix of CCRF-CEM leukemia cells.


Supported by USPHS Grant CA-44597 and by Grant CH-226 from the American Cancer Society.

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