Soy isoflavones augment radiation effect by inhibiting APE1/Ref-1 DNA repair activity in non-small cell lung cancer

Vinita Singh-Gupta, Michael C Joiner, Lindsay Runyan, Christopher K Yunker, Fazlul H Sarkar, Steven Miller, Shirish M Gadgeel, Andre A Konski, Gilda G Hillman
Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2011, 6 (4): 688-98

INTRODUCTION: Soy isoflavones sensitize cancer cells to radiation both in vitro and in vivo. To improve the effect of radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer, we assessed the potential of using a complementary approach with soy isoflavones.

METHODS: Human A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells were treated with soy isoflavones, radiation, or both and tested for cell growth. DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) were detected by immunostaining for γ-H2AX foci. Expressions of γ-H2AX, HIF-1α, and APE1/Ref-1 were assessed by Western blots. DNA-binding activities of HIF-1α and NF-κB transcription factors were analyzed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay.

RESULTS: Soy isoflavones increased A549 cell killing induced by radiation. Multiple γ-H2AX foci were detectable at 1 hour after radiation but decreased at 24 hours after radiation. Soy isoflavones also caused DNA DSBs, but γ-H2AX foci increased over time. Soy isoflavones and radiation caused an increase in γ-H2AX foci, which persisted at 24 hours, indicating both increased DNA damage and inhibition of repair. Soy isoflavones inhibited the radiation-induced activity of the DNA repair/redox enzyme APE1/Ref-1 and the transcription factors NF-κB and HIF-1α. E3330, which inhibits the redox activity of APE1/Ref-1, did not alter the repair of radiation-induced DSBs. Methoxyamine, which inhibits APE1/Ref-1 DNA repair activity, partly blocked the decrease in radiation-induced DSBs at 24 hours, suggesting partial mitigation of radiation-induced DNA repair akin to the effect of soy combined with radiation, in agreement with cytotoxic assays.

CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 DNA repair activity by soy could be involved in the mechanism by which soy alters DNA repair and leads to cell killing.

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