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Gene. 2013 Feb 15;515(1):208-13. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.11.040. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

Effects of carbon-ion beam or X-ray irradiation on anti-apoptosis ΔNp73 expression in HeLa cells.

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  • 1Department of Heavy Ion Radiation Medicine, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China.


ΔNp73 has emerged as an interesting novel factor in cancer research. Here, we report the effect of carbon-ion beams on ΔNp73 expression in human cervix carcinoma HeLa cells in contrast to the effect of X-rays. Cellular sensitivities were determined by colony formation. Radiation-induced cell cycle arrest was investigated with flow cytometry. Additionally, radiation-induced apoptosis was analyzed with flow cytometry and Hoechst staining. Furthermore, ΔNp73 expression was examined by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (semi-quantitative RT-PCR) as well as by Western blot analysis. Following irradiation, stronger G2/M phase arrest, more significant increase in apoptosis and more pronounced ΔNp73 degradation were observed after exposure to high-LET carbon beams in comparison with X-rays at 4 Gy doses. These observations indicate that there is a differential ΔNp73 expression in response to different LET radiations, and down-regulated ΔNp73 expression might play a critical role in promoting cycle arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells. This study highlights the potential of ΔNp73 in radiotherapy.

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