Human DNA topoisomerase IIα (topo II), a ubiquitous nuclear enzyme, is essential for normal and neoplastic cellular proliferation and survival. Several common anticancer drugs exert their cytotoxic effects through interaction with topo II. In experimental systems, altered topo II expression has been associated with the appearance of drug resistance. This mechanism, however, does not adequately account for clinical cases of resistance to topo II-directed drugs. Modulation by protein-protein interactions represents one mechanism of topo II regulation that has not been extensively defined. Our laboratory has identified 14-3-3ε as a topo II-interacting protein. In this study, glutathione S-transferase co-precipitation, affinity column chromatography, and immunoprecipitations confirm the authenticity of these interactions. Three assays evaluate the impact of 14-3-3ε on distinct topo II functional properties. Using both a modified alkaline comet assay and a DNA cleavage assay, we demonstrate that 14-3-3ε negatively affects the ability of the chemotherapeutic, etoposide, to trap topo II in cleavable complexes with DNA, thereby preventing DNA strand breaks. By electrophoretic mobility shift assay, this appears to be due to reduced DNA binding activity. The association of topo II with 14-3-3 proteins does not extend to all 14-3-3 isoforms. No protein interaction or disruption of topo II function was observed with 14-3-3σ.