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Etoposide is a specific inhibitor of topoisomerase II, which is an enzyme that enables double-stranded DNA to pass through another double-stranded DNA. Topoisomerase II is a major constituent of chromosome scaffold, existing at appreciable amounts in cells. To examine the effects of etoposide on the cell cycle, hexaploid H1 (ES) cells (6H1 cells) were used with diploid H1 (ES) cells (2H1 cells) as a control. Exponentially growing 2H1 and 6H1 cells were exposed to etoposide at various concentrations, and cultured for about 60 days in L15F10 medium with leukemia inhibitory factor. With a high concentration of etoposide (1 μM), the DNA histograms showed G(2)/M accumulation, suggesting that etoposide arrested the cell cycle at the G(2)/M phase. With a low concentration of etoposide (50 nM), the cell proliferation was suppressed with a doubling time of 98.4 h for 2H1 cells and 51.6 h for 6H1 cells, and without significant alteration in DNA histograms. Time-lapse videography revealed that 6H1 cells survived in the medium containing 50 nM etoposide had a cell cycle time of 18.8 h, which was equivalent to 19.2 h of the doubling time for the 6H1 cell population in drug-free medium, suggesting that a part of the cell population died and was excluded from the cell system. It was concluded that etoposide affected the cell cycle at a wide range of concentrations.


Kohzaburo Fujikawa-Yamamoto, Takahide Ota, Minoru Miyagoshi, Hiroko Yamagishi. Effects of etoposide on the proliferation of hexaploid H1 (ES) cells. Human cell. 2012 Jun;25(2):45-50

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PMID: 22614914

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