Gefitinib radiosensitizes non-small cell lung cancer cells through inhibition of ataxia telangiectasia mutated

Soo Yeon Park, Young M. Kim, Hongryull Pyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have shown dramatic results in a subset of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and have also been shown to enhance the effect of ionizing radiation (IR). We investigated how gefitinib, an orally given EGFR inhibitor for NSCLC patients, can radiosensitize NSCLC cells.Experimental Design and Results: In clonogenic survival assays performed in three NSCLC cell lines, gefitinib radiosensitized NCI-H460 and VMRC-LCD but not A549 cells. Gefitinib pretreatment induced multinucleated cells after IR exposure in NCI-H460 and VMRC-LCD, but not in A549 cells. Gefitinib also inhibited activation of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) after IR-exposure in NCI-H460 and VMRC-LCD, but not in A549 cells. An ATM specific inhibitor increased IR-induced multinucleated cells in both NCI-H460 and A549 cells. Gefitinib pretreatment inhibited the gradual decrease of γH2AX foci relative to time after IR exposure in NCI-H460 but not in A549 cells. Suppression of COX-2 in A549 cells induced multinucleated cells and caused radiosensitization after gefitinib+IR treatment. In contrast, COX-2 overexpression in NCI-H460 cells attenuated the induction of multinucleation and radiosensitization after the same treatment.Conclusions: Our results suggest that gefitinib radiosensitizes NSCLC cells by inhibiting ATM activity and therefore inducing mitotic cell death, and that COX-2 overexpression in NSCLC cells inhibits this action of gefitinib.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number222
JournalMolecular cancer
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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