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Cell Death Dis. 2018 May 1;9(5):496. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0549-2.

Kinesin light chain-4 depletion induces apoptosis of radioresistant cancer cells by mitochondrial dysfunction via calcium ion influx.

Author information

1
Division of Applied Radiation Bioscience, Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, 01812, Korea.
2
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, 440-746, Korea.
3
Division of Applied Radiation Bioscience, Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, 01812, Korea. eh140149@kirams.re.kr.
4
Division of Applied Radiation Bioscience, Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, 01812, Korea. sgh63@kcch.re.kr.

Abstract

Kinesins act as molecular microtubule-dependent motor proteins and have various important cellular functions related to cell division, intracellular transport, and membrane trafficking. However, the function of kinesin light chain 4 (KLC4) in cancer, especially radioresistance, has not been previously described. Thus, we investigated KLC4 function in lung cancer cells and radioresistant R-H460 cells by analyzing alterations in radiosensitivity after gene knockdown with siRNA and by evaluating cellular phenotypes and xenograft tumor growth. KLC4 was upregulated in human lung cancer cell lines. Moreover, in paired clinical specimens of lung cancer patients, KLC4 expression was significantly higher in tumor tissues than in paired adjacent normal tissues. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis showed that apoptosis rates and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and cleaved caspase-3 levels in KLC4-knockdown lung cancer cells were significantly increased compared with those in control cells. Colony formation decreased as the radiation dose increased in KLC4-knockdown lung cancer cells, demonstrating an essential role for KLC4 in radioresistance. Importantly, KLC4 silencing suppressed tumor growth in an in vivo xenograft model, accompanied by increased apoptosis. Finally, KLC4-knockdown cells exhibited impaired mitochondrial respiration, increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, and enhanced mitochondrial calcium uptake, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, KLC4 as a kinesin superfamily-targeted therapy may represent a novel, effective anticancer strategy, particularly for patients showing radioresistance.

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