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Cancer Res. 2005 Jun 15;65(12):5301-9.

Expression of Siva-1 protein or its putative amphipathic helical region enhances cisplatin-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells: effect of elevated levels of BCL-2.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA.


cis-Diaminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin) is routinely used to treat various types of cancers; however, a significant number develop resistance. One of the underlying factors that contribute to cisplatin resistance is the elevated level of BCL-2 and/or BCL-XL, which promotes cell survival. A potential method of overcoming such resistance is to use a potentiator that is capable of neutralizing the antiapoptotic effects of BCL-2/BCL-XL, such as Siva-1. We previously cloned the proapoptotic protein Siva-1 and showed a possible role for it in both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis. Using an adenovirus-based expression system, we now show that Siva-1 can synergize with cisplatin in inducing apoptosis in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. In an anchorage-independent clonogenicity assay, MCF7/caspase-3 cells stably expressing Siva-1, but not the control cells, showed a dramatic decrease in the number of colonies formed on one-time cisplatin treatment. Further, we show that the unique putative amphipathic helical region (SAH) in Siva-1 (amino acid residues 36-55) is necessary and sufficient for the observed enhancement in cisplatin-induced apoptosis by Siva-1. Although cisplatin treatment results in significant elevation in the expression of Fas ligand and intracellular p21 levels, expression of Siva-1 has no additional benefit. Instead, the enhancement in apoptosis seems to be due to activation of intrinsic pathway that involves caspase-9 activation. Moreover, Siva-1 augments cisplatin-mediated cell death in MCF7 cells stably expressing BCL-2. We therefore propose that Siva-1 or its SAH region can be used as a potentiator of cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

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