Hemoglobin induces colon cancer cell proliferation by release of reactive oxygen species

Ryung Ah Lee, Hyun Ah Kim, Bo Young Kang, Kwang Ho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aim: To study whether hemoglobin could amplify colon cancer cell proliferation via reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Methods: Colon cancer cell line HT-29 was grown in the conventional method using RPMI1640 media. The viability of the cells was measured using the colorimetric MTT [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay after adding hemoglobin. We determined reactive oxygen species levels to be indicators of oxidative stress in HT 29 cell lines with and without hemoglobin and/or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), 5′-deoxy-5-fluorouridine (5-DFUR) using fluorometric dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay. Results: Cellular proliferation was increased with hemoglobin in a concentration-dependent manner. A significant increment on ROS levels was found in HT 29 cells following hemoglobin incubation. The cytotoxic effects of 5-FU and 5-DFUR were significantly blunted by administration of hemoglobin. There was a slight increase of peroxiredoxin 1, superoxide dismutase 1 concentration according to different hemoglobin concentrations. Conclusion: Hemoglobin has a cellular proliferative effect on HT-29 colon cancer cell line by production of ROS. Also, hemoglobin abates cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-FU and 5-DFUR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5644-5650
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number35
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2006


  • Colon cancer
  • Hemoglobin
  • Reactive oxygen species


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