Radiation-induced intercellular signaling mediated by cytochrome-c via a p53-dependent pathway in hepatoma cells

M. He, M. Zhao, B. Shen, Kevin Prise, C. Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


The tumor suppressor p53 has a crucial role in cellular response to DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation, but it is still unclear whether p53 can modulate radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE). In the present work, three different hepatoma cell lines, namely HepG2 (wild p53), PLC/PRF/5 (mutation p53) and Hep3B (p53 null), were irradiated with c-rays and then co-cultured with normal Chang liver cell (wild p53) in order to elucidate the mechanisms of RIBE. Results showed that the radiosensitivity of HepG2 cells was higher than that of PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells. Only irradiated HepG2 cells, rather than irradiated PLC/PRF/5 or Hep3B cells, could induce bystander effect of micronuclei (MN) formation in the neighboring Chang liver cells. When HepG2 cells were treated with 20 mu M pifithrin-alpha, an inhibitor of p53 function, or 5 lM cyclosporin A (CsA), an inhibitor of cytochrome- c release from mitochondria, the MN induction in bystander Chang liver cells was diminished. In fact, it was found that after irradiation, cytochrome- c was released from mitochondria into the cytoplasm only in HepG2 cells in a p53- dependent manner, but not in PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells. Interestingly, when 50 lg/ml exogenous cytochrome- c was added into cell co- culture medium, RIBE was significantly triggered by irradiated PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells, which previously failed to provoke a bystander effect. In addition, this exogenous cytochrome- c also partly recovered the RIBE induced by irradiated HepG2 cells even with CsA treatment. Our results provide new evidence that the RIBE can be modulated by the p53 status of irradiated hepatoma cells and that a p53- dependent release of cytochrome- c may be involved in the RIBE. Oncogene (2011) 30, 1947- 1955; doi: 10.1038/onc. 2010.567; published online 6 December 2010
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1955
Number of pages9
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

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