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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Dec;1833(12):2996-3005. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Knock-down of glutaminase 2 expression decreases glutathione, NADH, and sensitizes cervical cancer to ionizing radiation.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Southwest Hospital, the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, PR China; Radiation Oncology Center, Southwest Hospital, the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, PR China.


Phosphate-activated mitochondrial glutaminase (GLS2) is suggested to be linked with elevated glutamine metabolism. It plays an important role in catalyzing the hydrolysis of glutamine to glutamate. The present study was to investigate the potent effect of GLS2 on radioresistance of cervical carcinoma. GLS2 was examined in 144 cases of human cervical cancer specimens (58 radioresistant specimens, 86 radiosensitive specimens) and 15 adjacent normal cervical specimens with immunohistochemistry. HeLa cells were treated with a cumulative dose of 50Gy X-rays, over 6months, yielding the resistant sub-line HeLaR. The expressions of GLS2 were measured by Western blot. Radioresistance was tested by colony survival assay. Apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry. The levels of glutathione (GSH), reactive oxygen species (ROS), NAD(+)/NADH ratio and NADP(+)/NADPH ratio were detected by quantization assay kit. Xenografts were used to confirm the effect of GLS2 on radioresistance in vivo. The expressions of GLS2 were significantly enhanced in tumor tissues of radioresistant patients compared with that in radiosensitive patients. In vitro, the radioresistant cell line HeLaR exhibited significantly increased GLS2 levels than its parental cell line HeLa. GLS2 silenced radioresistant cell HeLaR shows substantially enhanced radiosensitivity with lower colony survival and higher apoptosis in response to radiation. In vivo, xenografts with GLS2 silenced HeLaR were more sensitive to radiation. At the molecular level, knock-down of GLS2 increased the intracellular ROS levels of HeLaR exposed to irradiation by decreasing the productions of antioxidant GSH, NADH and NADPH. GLS2 may have an important role in radioresistance in cervical cancer patients.

© 2013.


Cervical cancer; Glutathione; Phosphate-activated mitochondrial glutaminase; Radioresistance

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