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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 151-161

Heterogeneity in the radiosensitizing effects of the DNA ligand hoechst-33342 in human tumor cell lines.

1 Division of Biocybernetics, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India, India
2 PG DAV College, Hapur, India, India

Correspondence Address:
B S Dwarakanath
Division of Biocybernetics, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.19595

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The AT specific minor grove DNA binding ligands bisbenzimidazole derivatives like hoechst-33342 and hoechst-33258 which scavenge free radicals and stabilize macromolecular structure have been shown to afford radioprotection by reducing the induction of DNA damage. However, their ability to inhibit topoisomerases I & II, which play important roles in damage response pathways including DNA repair can enhance radiation damage under certain conditions. Since pool sizes of the topoisomerases differ not only between normal and tumor cells, but also among different tumors, it is anticipated that radiosensitization by hoechst-33342 can vary among tumors. The present studies were, therefore, undertaken to verify this proposition in human glioma (BMG-1 & U-87) and squamous carcinoma (4197 & 4451) cell lines which differ in their biological behavior (ploidy, p53, cyclins, bcl, bax etc).Isotoxic concentrations of hoechst-33342 (IC50 i.e producing 50% cell kill) administered immediately following irradiation resulted in the radiosensitization of all cell lines, with a 4&7 fold increase in the cell death (loss of clonogenic cell survival) in U-87& BMG-1 and a 3 fold increase in 4197 &4451 cells. Growth inhibition and increase in cytogenetic damage (micronuclei formation) as well as delayed apoptosis observed under these conditions corroborated well with the enhanced cell death. The ligand induced a significant cell cycle delay, particularly in the late S and G2 phases of BMG-1, U-87 and 4197 cells, while no significant changes could be observed in 4451 cells. Higher endogenous levels of cyclin B1 found in both the glioma cell lines, was enhanced further by the ligand as compared to the squamous carcinoma cells. These results clearly demonstrate that the radiosensitizing effects of the ligand are indeed heterogeneous among different human tumor cell lines. The radiaosensitization is p53 independent and accompanied by enhanced mitotic death (linked to cytogenetic damage) as well as induction of cyclin B1 mediated apoptosis.

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