Okazaki, R., Moon, Y., Norimura, T. and Eling, T. Ionizing Radiation Enhances the Expression of the Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug-Activated Gene (NAG1) by Increasing the Expression of TP53 in Human Colon Cancer Cells. Radiat. Res. 165, 125–130 (2006).

The induction of apoptosis in cells of human colon cancer cell lines after γ irradiation was investigated to determine whether apoptosis was mediated by TP53 and the subsequent expression of its downstream target, the NSAID-activated gene (NAG1). HCT116 (TP53+/+), HCT15 (TP53 mutant) and TP53 null HCT116 (TP53−/−) cells were irradiated with γ rays, and apoptosis was measured at various times after irradiation. In HCT116 TP53+/+ cells, apoptosis was increased after irradiation; the increase was dependent on the time after treatment and the dose of γ rays. However, in HCT15 TP53 mutant cells and HCT116 TP53−/− cells, there were no remarkable changes in apoptosis. The expression of TP53 protein in HCT116 cells was increased after irradiation and was followed by an increase in the expression of NAG1 protein. In contrast, the expression of NAG1 protein in TP53 mutant cells and TP53−/− cells was not increased by the radiation treatment, suggesting that NAG1 was required for apoptosis. The expression of NAG1 increased apoptosis in HCT116 cells, but radiation treatment did not further increase apoptosis. The transfection of a NAG1 siRNA into HCT116 cells suppressed radiation-induced apoptosis and inhibited the induction of NAG1 protein without altering the expression of TP53. a NAG1 luciferase promoter construct that included both of the TP53 binding sites, was activated by radiation in dose-dependent manner, while the promoters lacking one or both of the TP53 binding sites in the NAG1 promoter activity either was less responsive or did not respond. The findings reported here indicate that γ radiation activates the TP53 tumor suppressor, which then increases the expression of NAG1. NAG1 mediates the induction of apoptosis in human colorectal cells.

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