Guo, W-F., Lin, R-X., Huang, J., Zhou, Z., Yang, J., Guo, G-Z. and Wang, S-Q. Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes Contributing to Radioresistance in Lung Cancer Cells using Microarray Analysis. Radiat. Res. 164, 27–35 (2005).

Radiotherapy has played a key role in the control of tumor growth in many cancer patients. It is usually difficult to determine what fraction of the tumor cell population is radioresistant after a course of radiotherapy. The response of tumor cells to radiation is believed to be accompanied by complex changes in the gene expression pattern. It may be possible to use these to sensitize radioresistant tumor cells and improve radiocurability. Based on the biological effects of ionizing radiation, in the present study, we developed one oligonucleotide microarray to analyze the expression of 143 genes in cells of two lung cancer cell lines with different radiosensitivities. Compared to NCI-H446 cells, expression of 18 genes significantly increased the basal levels in the radioresistant A549 cells, in which eight genes were up-regulated and 10 genes were down-regulated. In A549 cells irradiated with 5 Gy, 22 (19 up-regulated and three down-regulated) and 26 (eight up-regulated and 18 down-regulated) differentially expressed genes were found 6 and 24 h after irradiation, respectively. In NCI-H446 cells, the expression of 17 (nine up-regulated and eight down-regulated) and 18 (six up-regulated and 12 down-regulated) genes was altered 6 and 24 h after irradiation, respectively. RT-PCR was performed, and we found that MDM2, BCL2, PKCZ and PIM2 expression levels were increased in A549 cells and decreased in NCI-H446 cells after irradiation. Genes involved in DNA repair, such as XRCC5, ERCC5, ERCC1, RAD9A, ERCC4 and the gene encoding DNA-PK, were found to be increased to a higher level in A549 cells than in NCI-H446 cells. Antisense suppression of MDM2 resulted in increased radiosensitivity of A549 cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate the possibility that a group of genes involved in DNA repair, regulation of the cell cycle, cell proliferation and apoptosis is responsible for the different radioresistance of these two lung cancer cells. This list of genes may be useful in attempts to sensitize the radioresistant lung cancer cells.

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