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Calcium channel α2δ1 subunit (CACNA2D1) enhances radioresistance in cancer stem-like cells in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines

Authors Sui X, Geng JH, Li YH, Zhu GY, Wang WH

Received 7 June 2018

Accepted for publication 16 August 2018

Published 26 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 5009—5018


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Raphael Catane

Xin Sui,1,* Jian-Hao Geng,1,* Yong-Heng Li,1 Guang-Ying Zhu,2 Wei-Hu Wang1

1Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education/Beijing), Department of Radiation Oncology, Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing, China; 2Department of Radiation Oncology, National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Center for Respiratory Disease, Lung Cancer Center, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Radiotherapy is a major treatment method for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the presence of radioresistant cancer stem cells (CSCs) may be associated with disease relapse or a poor outcome after radiotherapy. Voltage-gated calcium channel α2δ1 subunit (encoded by the gene CACNA2D1) isoform 5 is a marker of CSCs in hepatocellular carcinoma. This study aimed to investigate the radiosensitivity of α2δ1-high cells in NSCLC cell lines.
Materials and methods: NSCLC cell lines A549, H1975, H1299, and PC9 were used. CACNA2D1-knockdown and CACNA2D1-overexpressing cell lines were established by lentiviral infection. Colony formation assay was performed to determine radiosensitivity. Sphere formation assay in serum-free medium was performed to evaluate self-renewal capacity. Proteins associated with DNA damage repair were analyzed by immunofluorescence or Western blot. The monoclonal antibody of α2δ1 was applied alone or in combination with radiation either in vitro or in vivo to determine the anti-tumor effect of the antibody.
Results: α2δ1-high cells showed greater sphere-forming efficiency than α2δ1-low cells and were relatively resistant to radiation. CACNA2D1 knockdown in A549 cells enhanced radiosensitivity, whereas CACNA2D1 overexpression in PC9 and H1975 cells reduced radiosensitivity, suggesting that α2δ1 imparted radioresistance to NSCLC cells. Analysis of proteins involved in DNA damage repair suggested that α2δ1 enhanced the efficiency of DNA damage repair. The monoclonal antibody of α2δ1 had a synergistic effect with that of radiation to block the self-renewal of α2δ1-high cells and enhanced the radiosensitivity of α2δ1-positive cells in colony formation assays. The combination of the α2δ1 antibody with radiation repressed A549 xenograft growth in vivo.
Conclusion: α2δ1 enhances radioresistance in cancer stem-like cells in NSCLC. The α2δ1 monoclonal antibody sensitizes α2δ1-high cells to radiation, suggesting that the antibody may be used to improve the treatment outcome when combined with radiation in NSCLC.

Keywords: radioresistance, cancer stem cell, calcium channel, DNA damage repair

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