Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Dec 1;36(5):1099-106.

Preferential radiosensitization of G1 checkpoint-deficient cells by methylxanthines.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle 98195-6043, USA.



To develop a checkpoint-based strategy for preferential radiosensitization of human tumors with deficient and/or mutant p53.


A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines differing in their expression of the p53 tumor suppressor gene were produced by transduction with the E6 oncogene from human papilloma virus type 16. The cells expressing E6 (E6+) lack a G1 arrest in response to ionizing radiation, are deficient in p53 and p21 expression, and exhibit a fivefold greater clonogenic survival following 10 Gy radiation.


Postirradiation incubation with millimolar concentrations of the methylxanthine pentoxifylline (PTX) results in preferential radiosensitization of the E6+ cells compared to the LXSN+ vector transduced controls. There is a threefold sensitization of the LXSN+ cells and a 15-fold sensitization of the E6+ cells, which results in equal clonogenic survival of the two lines. Flow cytometry reveals PTX abrogation of the radiation induced G2 arrest for both cell lines. PTX also prolongs G1 transit for both cell lines. Preliminary results are presented using a novel methylxanthine, lisofylline (LSF), which has similar cell cycle effects on G1 and G2 and achieves differential radiosensitization at micromolar concentrations that are sustainable in humans.


This checkpoint-based strategy is a promising approach for achieving preferential radiosensitization of p53- tumors relative to p53+ normal tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center