Previous study has demonstrated that squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) 1 attenuates apoptosis induced by TNF alpha, NK cell or anticancer drug. In this study, we have examined the effect of SCCA2, which is highly homologous to SCCA1, but has different target specificity, against radiation-induced apoptosis, together with that of SCCA1. We demonstrated that cell death induced by radiation treatment was remarkably suppressed not only in SCCA1 cDNA-transfected cells, but also in SCCA2 cDNA-transfected cells. In these transfectants, caspase 3 activity and the expression of activated caspase 9 after radiation treatment were suppressed. Furthermore, the expression level of phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) was suppressed compared to that of the control cells. The expression level of upstream stimulator of p38 MAPK, phosphorylated MKK3/MKK6, was also suppressed in the radiation-treated cells. Thus, both SCCA1 and SCCA2 may contribute to survival of the squamous cells from radiation-induced apoptosis by regulating p38 MAPK pathway.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.