The role of the calcium binding protein, Calbindin 2 (CALB2), in regulating the response of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) was investigated. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed that CALB2 mRNA and protein expression were down-regulated in p53 wild-type and p53 null isogenic HCT116 CRC cell lines following 48 h and 72 h 5-FU treatment. Moreover, 5-FU-induced apoptosis was significantly reduced in HCT116 and LS174T CRC cell lines in which CALB2 expression had been silenced. Further investigation revealed that CALB2 translocated to the mitochondria following 5-FU treatment and that 5-FU-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Delta psi(m)) was abrogated in CALB2-silenced cells. Furthermore, CALB2 silencing decreased 5-FU-induced cytochrome c and smac release from the mitochondria and also decreased 5-FU-induced activation of caspases 9 and 3/7. Of note, co-silencing of XIAP overcame 5-FU resistance in CALB2-silenced cells. Collectively, these results suggest that following 5-FU treatment in CRC cell lines, CALB2 is involved in apoptosis induction through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. This indicates that CALB2 may be an important mediator of 5-FU-induced cell death. Moreover, down-regulation of CALB2 in response to 5-FU may represent an intrinsic mechanism of resistance to this anti-cancer drug.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)