Phytosphingosine in combination with ionizing radiation enhances apoptotic cell death in radiation-resistant cancer cells through ROS-dependent and -independent AIF release.

Research paper by Moon-Taek MT Park, Min-Jung MJ Kim, Young-Hee YH Kang, Soon-Young SY Choi, Jae-Hoon JH Lee, Jung-A JA Choi, Chang-Mo CM Kang, Chul-Koo CK Cho, Seongman S Kang, Sangwoo S Bae, Yun-Sil YS Lee, Hee Yong HY Chung, Su-Jae SJ Lee

Indexed on: 16 Oct '04Published on: 16 Oct '04Published in: Blood


The use of chemical modifiers as radiosensitizers in combination with low-dose irradiation may increase the therapeutic effect on cancer by overcoming a high apoptotic threshold. Here, we showed that phytosphingosine treatment in combination with gamma-radiation enhanced apoptotic cell death of radiation-resistant human T-cell lymphoma in a caspase-independent manner. Combination treatment induced an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, mitochondrial relocalization of B-cell lymphoma-2(Bcl-2)-associated X protein (Bax), poly-adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose polymerase 1 (PARP-1) activation, and nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). siRNA targeting of AIF effectively protected cells from the combination treatment-induced cell death. An antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), inhibited Bax relocalization and AIF translocation but not PARP-1 activation. Moreover, transfection of Bax-siRNA significantly inhibited AIF translocation. Pretreatment of PARP-1 inhibitor, DPQ (3,4-dihydro-5-[4-(1-piperidinyl)-butoxy]-1(2H)-isoquinolinone), or PARP-1-siRNA also partially attenuated AIF translocation, whereas the same treatment did not affect intracellular ROS level and Bax redistribution. Taken together, these results demonstrate that enhancement of cell death of radiation-resistant cancer cells by phytosphingosine treatment in combination with gamma-radiation is mediated by nuclear translocation of AIF, which is in turn mediated both by ROS-dependent Bax relocalization and ROS-independent PARP-1 activation. The molecular signaling pathways that we elucidated in this study may provide potential drug targets for radiation sensitization of cancers refractive to radiation therapy.

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