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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36604. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036604. Epub 2012 May 18.

REDD1 protects osteoblast cells from gamma radiation-induced premature senescence.

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Radiation Countermeasures Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.


Radiotherapy is commonly used for cancer treatment. However, it often results in side effects due to radiation damage in normal tissue, such as bone marrow (BM) failure. Adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) reside in BM next to the endosteal bone surface, which is lined primarily by hematopoietic niche osteoblastic cells. Osteoblasts are relatively more radiation-resistant than HSPCs, but the mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study, we demonstrated that the stress response gene REDD1 (regulated in development and DNA damage responses 1) was highly expressed in human osteoblast cell line (hFOB) cells after γ irradiation. Knockdown of REDD1 with siRNA resulted in a decrease in hFOB cell numbers, whereas transfection of PCMV6-AC-GFP-REDD1 plasmid DNA into hFOB cells inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p21 expression and protected these cells from radiation-induced premature senescence (PS). The PS in irradiated hFOB cells were characterized by significant inhibition of clonogenicity, activation of senescence biomarker SA-β-gal, and the senescence-associated cytokine secretory phenotype (SASP) after 4 or 8 Gy irradiation. Immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the stress response proteins p53 and nuclear factor κ B (NFkB) interacted with REDD1 in hFOB cells. Knockdown of NFkB or p53 gene dramatically suppressed REDD1 protein expression in these cells, indicating that REDD1 was regulated by both factors. Our data demonstrated that REDD1 is a protective factor in radiation-induced osteoblast cell premature senescence.

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