Background/Aim: The aim of the present study was to suggest potential mechanisms of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced cell death and radiosensitization in EGF receptor (EGFR)-overexpressing cancer cell lines.
Materials and Methods: Two EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell lines (AMC-HN3, and A431), one EGFR-null cancer cell line (H520) and normal fibroblasts were cultured with 0.01-1000 nM of recombinant human EGF (rhEGF), and a clonogenic assay was performed. After culturing serum-starved cells with 10 nM rhEGF, the expression patterns of two apoptosis-associated proteins (cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)) and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) signaling pathway were measured using immunoblotting. The radiosensitizing effect of EGF was also evaluated with a clonogenic assay and phosphorylated H2AX (γH2AX) immunofluorescence.
Results: In the clonogenic assay, the number of colonies was decreased in a dose-dependent manner in EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell lines. The expression of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP was significantly induced in EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell lines. As for the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, EGF paradoxically suppressed the expression of PI3K, AKT and mTOR in a timedependent manner. As for the radiosensitizing effect, EGF enhanced the radiosensitivity of AMC-HN3 and A431 cells.
Conclusion: rhEGF treatment induced cell death in the two EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell lines, and the mode of cell death was apoptosis. Moreover, cell death might be associated with the paradoxical suppression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. rhEGF in combination with radiation augmented the radiation effect in EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell lines via inhibition of DNA damage repair.
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jan 2015
- EGFR-overexpressing cancer cell line
- PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway