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Int J Hyperthermia. 2000 Nov-Dec;16(6):481-91.

Effect of acidic environment and p53 on apoptosis induction by hyperthermia.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology-Radiation Oncology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


The effect of environmental acidity on the induction of apoptosis by heat was investigated. Human colorectal tumour RKO.C cells, carrying wild-type p53 and isogenic RC10.1 cells deficient in p53, were heated at 42.0 degrees C for 1 h in pH 7.5 or pH 6.6 medium and the apoptosis was assessed based on the flow cytometic determination of DNA content, DNA fragmentation, and PARP cleavage. The degree of apoptosis after heating in pH6.6 medium was greater than that in pH 7.5 medium in both RKO.C cells and RC10.1 cells. When heated in the same pH medium, more apoptosis occurred in the RC10.1 cells than in the RKO.C cells. Heating increased the expression of p53 protein and p21 protein markedly in RKO.C cells and slightly in RC10.1 cells. Expression of these proteins was slightly greater in pH 7.5 medium than in pH 6.6 medium. The expressions of Bax protein and Bcl-2 protein, which are known to control apoptosis, were not altered by heating. It was concluded that an acidic environment enhances heat-induced apoptosis. It was also concluded that heat-induced apoptosis is lessened by p53 and that Bcl-2 and Bax are not involved in the induction of apoptosis by hyperthermia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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