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Mol Cancer Res. 2008 Nov;6(11):1742-54. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-08-0102.

Antisense MDM2 enhances E2F1-induced apoptosis and the combination sensitizes androgen-sensitive [corrected] and androgen-insensitive [corrected] prostate cancer cells to radiation.

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Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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  • Mol Cancer Res. 2008 Dec;6(12):1957.


We have previously shown in separate studies that MDM2 knockdown via antisense MDM2 (AS-MDM2) and E2F1 overexpression via adenoviral-mediated E2F1 (Ad-E2F1) sensitized prostate cancer cells to radiation. Because E2F1 and MDM2 affect apoptosis through both common and independent pathways, we hypothesized that coupling these two treatments would result in increased killing of prostate cancer cells. In this study, the effect of Ad-E2F1 and AS-MDM2 in combination with radiation was investigated in three prostate cancer cell lines: LNCaP cells, LNCaP-Res cells [androgen insensitive with functional p53 and androgen receptor (AR)], and PC3 cells (androgen insensitive, p53(null), and AR(null)). A supra-additive radiosensitizing effect was observed in terms of clonogenic inhibition and induction of apoptosis (caspase-3 + caspase-7 activity) in response to Ad-E2F1 plus AS-MDM2 treatments in all three cell lines. In LNCaP and LNCaP-Res, these combination treatments elevated the levels of phospho-Ser(15) p53 with significant induction of p21(waf1/cip1), phospho-gammaH2AX, PUMA, and Bax levels and reduction of AR and bcl-2 expression. Similarly, AR(null) and p53(null) PC-3 cells showed elevated levels of Bax and phospho-gammaH2AX expression. These findings show that the combination of Ad-E2F1 and AS-MDM2 significantly increases cell death in prostate cancer cells exposed to radiation and that this effect occurs in the presence or absence of AR and p53.

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