JOURNAL ARTICLE

Knockdown of Chk1 sensitizes human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells in a p53-dependent manner to lidamycin through abrogation of a G2/M checkpoint and induction of apoptosis

Yu Pan, Kai-Huan Ren, Hong-Wei He, Rong-Guang Shao
Cancer Biology & Therapy 2009, 8 (16): 1559-66
19502782
Recent advances in cell cycle regulation have led to a suggestion of therapeutically targeting cell cycle checkpoint pathways in cancer cells to increase the toxicity of DNA-damaging agents. In this study, we investigate whether knockdowns of checkpoint kinases Chk1 and Chk2 by RNA interfering potentiate the cytotoxicity and abrogate G(2)/M checkpoint induced by DNA-damaging agent lidamycin (LDM) in HCT116 cells with different p53 status. Our results showed that Chk1 knockdown enhanced the cytotoxicity of LDM through abrogating G(2)/M arrest and increasing apoptosis to a greater extent in HCT116 p53(-/-) cells than in p53(wt) cells. Abrogation of LDM-induced G(2)/M arrest by Chk1 knockdown was associated with reducing the inactivated phosphorylations of Cdc25C and Cdc2. LDM-induced gamma-H2AX was increased in cells with Chk1 knockdown, indicating that DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) were enhanced. Furthermore, knockdown of Chk1 also increased LDM-mediated apoptotic cell death in p53 knockout cells with activation of caspase-2 and caspase-3. On the contrary, knockdown of Chk2 had no impact on G(2)/M arrest or apoptosis induced by LDM. Moreover, dual knockdown of Chk1 and Chk2 failed to achieve better efficacy than Chk1 alone. Taken together, we suggest that Chk1 is a potential therapeutic target to sensitize human p53 deficient cancer cells to LDM.

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