Evaluation of cytotoxicity and DNA damage response with analysis of intracellular ATM signaling pathways

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17 Scopus citations


Maintenance of genome integrity by preventing and overcoming DNA damage is critical for cell survival. Deficiency or aberrancy in the DNA damage response, for example, through ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) signaling, lead to pathophysiological perturbations in organs throughout the body. Therefore, control of DNA damage is of major interest for development of therapeutic agents. Such efforts will greatly benefit from convenient and simple diagnostic and/or drug development tools to demonstrate whether ATM and related genes have been activated and to then determine whether these have been returned to normal levels of activity because pathway members sense and also repair DNA damage. To overcome difficulties in analyzing differences in multitudinous ATM pathway members following DNA damage, we measured ATM promoter activity with a fluorescent td-Tomato reporter gene to interrogate the global effects of ATM signaling pathways. In cultured HuH-7 cell line derived from human hepatocellular carcinoma, cis-platinum, acetaminophen, or hydrogen peroxide caused DNA strand breaks and ATM pathway activation as shown by γH2AX expression, which in turn, led to rapid and sustained increases in ATM promoter activity. This assay of ATM promoter activity identified biological agents capable of controlling cellular DNA damage in toxin-treated HuH-7 cells and in mice after onset of drug-induced acute liver failure. Therefore, the proposed assay of ATM promoter activity in HuH-7 cells was appropriately informative for treating DNA damage. High-throughput screens using ATM promoter activation will be helpful for therapeutic development in DNA damage-Associated abnormal ATM signaling in various cell types and organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalAssay and Drug Development Technologies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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