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Cancer Biol Ther. 2006 Jul;5(7):815-23. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Altered gene expression induced by ionizing radiation and glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxy-glucose in a human glioma cell line: implications for radio sensitization.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio 45435, USA.


The glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been shown to enhance the cell death induced by radiation and other DNA damaging agents selectively in cells with high rates of glycolysis, like cancer cells. While energy linked modification of DNA and cellular repair processes have been suggested as possible mechanisms of sensitization, other effects such as global stress response cannot be excluded. In this pilot study, we have investigated the effect of 2-DG and radiation on the transcriptome in an attempt to elucidate how 2-DG impacts gene expression in undamaged verses irradiation (IR) damaged cells using a human malignant glioma cell line, U-87. Exponentially growing U-87 cells were exposed to various combinations of 2-DG and X-rays and total RNA was isolated four hours after exposure. Gene expression changes were elucidated using Affymetrix GeneChips. As expected, U-87 cells treated with 2-DG showed activation of several endoplasmic reticulum stress response genes. Selective RT-PCR and Western blotting confirmed these gene alterations. Given that glucose deprivation leads to p53 activation and 2-DG led to activation of p53 response genes in our present study (e.g., PMAIP1 and GADD45A), we examined the impact of transient p53 knockdown and observed that induction of PMAIP1 and GADD45A appear to be via p53-independent mechanisms. The majority of gene alterations seen with IR-treatment alone were consistent with previous reports. While most gene alterations seen with 2-DG and IR dual treatment were confirmed in the gene profiles seen with individual (2-DG or IR) treatments, several genes appeared differentially regulated between IR and 2-DG (e.g., DUSP8, IL8, GADD45B). Additionally, gene expression patterns suggested alterations in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and cytokine signaling pathways. Taken together, this study provides new insights into how the transcriptome of tumor cells are likely to be affected by a combined stress caused by IR and 2-DG.

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