2010 Volume 51 Issue 4 Pages 393-404
Since radiation therapy remains a primary treatment modality for gliomas, the radioresistance of glioma cells and targets to modify their radiation tolerance are of significant interest. Human apurinic endonuclease 1 (Ape1, Ref-1, APEX, HAP1, AP endo) is a multifunctional protein involved in base excision repair of DNA and a redox-dependent transcriptional co-activator. This study investigated whether there is a direct relationship between Ape1 and radioresistance in glioma cells, employing the human U87 and U251 cell lines. U87 is intrinsically more radioresistant than U251, which is partly attributable to more cycling U251 cells found in G2/M, the most radiosensitive cell stage, while more U87 cells are found in S and G1, the more radioresistant cell stages. But observed radioresistance is also related to Ape1 activity. U87 has higher levels of Ape1 than does U251, as assessed by Western blot and enzyme activity assays (~1.5–2 fold higher in cycling cells, and ~10 fold higher at G2/M). A direct relationship was seen in cells transfected with CMV-Ape1 constructs; there was a dose-dependent relationship between increasing Ape1 overexpression and increasing radioresistance. Conversely, knock down by siRNA or by pharmacological down regulation of Ape1 resulted in decreased radioresistance. The inhibitors lucanthone and CRT004876 were employed, the former a thioxanthene previously under clinical evaluation as a radiosensitizer for brain tumors and the latter a more specific Ape1 inhibitor. These data suggest that Ape1 may be a useful target for modifying radiation tolerance.
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