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Quercetin suppresses DNA double-strand break repair and enhances the radiosensitivity of human ovarian cancer cells via p53-dependent endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway

Authors Gong C, Yang Z, Zhang L, Wang Y, Gong W, Liu Y

Received 26 July 2017

Accepted for publication 14 November 2017

Published 21 December 2017 Volume 2018:11 Pages 17—27

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S147316

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ingrid Espinoza


Cheng Gong,1 Zongyuan Yang,1 Lingyun Zhang,2 Yuehua Wang,2 Wei Gong,2 Yi Liu3

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 2Department of Oncology, XiangYang Central Hospital, Hubei University of Arts and Science, XiangYang, 3Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China

Abstract: Quercetin is proven to have anticancer effects for many cancers. However, the role of tumor suppressor p53 on quercetin’s radiosensitization and regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in this process remains obscure. Here, quercetin exposure resulted in ER stress, prolonged DNA repair, and the expression of p53 protein; phosphorylation on serine 15 and 20 increased in combination with X-irradiation. Quercetin pretreatment could potentiate radiation-induced cell death. The combination of irradiation and quercetin treatment aggravated DNA damages and caused typical apoptotic cell death; as well the expression of Bax and p21 elevated and the expression of Bcl-2 decreased. Knocking down of p53 could reverse all the above effects under quercetin in combination with radiation. In addition, quercetin-induced radiosensitization was through stimulation of ATM phosphorylation. In human ovarian cancer xenograft model, combined treatment of quercetin and radiation significantly restrained the growth of tumors, accompanied with the activation of p53, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein, and γ-H2AX. Overall, these results indicated that quercetin acted as a promising radiosensitizer through p53-dependent ER stress signals.

Keywords: quercetin, p53, endoplasmic reticulum stress, DNA double-strand breaks, eIF-2α (eukaryotic initiation factor 2α), ATM kinase

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