The Topoisomerase I Inhibitor Irinotecan and the Tyrosyl-DNA Phosphodiesterase 1 Inhibitor Furamidine Synergistically Suppress Murine Lupus Nephritis

Keil, Andreas; Frese-Schaper, Manuela; Steiner, Selina; Körner, Meike; Schmid, Ralph; Frese, Steffen R. (2015). The Topoisomerase I Inhibitor Irinotecan and the Tyrosyl-DNA Phosphodiesterase 1 Inhibitor Furamidine Synergistically Suppress Murine Lupus Nephritis. Arthritis & rheumatology, 67(7), pp. 1858-1867. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/art.39119

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The treatment of lupus nephritis is still an unmet medical need requiring new therapeutic approaches. Our group found recently that irinotecan, an inhibitor of topoisomerase I (topo I), reversed proteinuria and prolonged survival in mice with advanced lupus nephritis. While irinotecan is known to stabilize the complex of topo I and DNA, the enzyme tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 (TDP-1) functions in an opposing manner by releasing topo I from DNA. Therefore, we undertook this study to test whether the TDP-1 inhibitor furamidine has an additional effect on lupus nephritis when used in combination with irinotecan.


NZB/NZW mice were treated with low-dose irinotecan and furamidine either alone or in combination beginning at age 26 weeks. DNA relaxation was visualized using gel electrophoresis. Binding of anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibodies to DNA modified by topo I, TDP-1, and the topo I inhibitor camptothecin was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Compared to treatment with either agent alone, simultaneous treatment with low-dose irinotecan and furamidine significantly improved survival of NZB/NZW mice. Similar to what has been previously shown for irinotecan alone, the combination treatment did not change the levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies. In vitro, recombinant TDP-1 increased topo I-mediated DNA relaxation, resulting in enhanced binding of anti-dsDNA antibodies. In combination with topo I and camptothecin, TDP-1 reversed the inhibitory effects of camptothecin on DNA relaxation and anti-dsDNA binding.


Affecting DNA relaxation by the enzymes topo I and TDP-1 and their inhibitors may be a promising approach for the development of new targeted therapies for systemic lupus erythematosus.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Mu50 > Forschungsgruppe Thoraxchirurgie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Thoracic Surgery

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Keil, Andreas; Frese-Schaper, Manuela; Steiner, Selina; Schmid, Ralph and Frese, Steffen R.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Thomas Michael Marti

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2016 12:15

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:53

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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