Didox (a novel ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor) overcomes Bcl-2 mediated radiation resistance in prostate cancer cell line PC-3

Cancer Biol Ther. Sep-Oct 2002;1(5):539-45. doi: 10.4161/cbt.1.5.174.


In this study, we investigated the influence of Bcl-2 overexpression on the radiosensitizing potential of Didox (DX; 3,4-Dihydroxybenzohydroxamic acid), a novel ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor, in p53-null prostate cancer cell line PC-3. The PC-3 cells were transfected with vector alone or ectopically overexpressed with CMV-Bcl-2 construct. The effect of radiation (IR) or DX alone and in combination (pre and post IR exposure of DX) on cell survival was determined by colony-forming assay. The impact of these two treatments on the cell cycle was determined by flow cytometry. To further understand the molecular mechanism of DX-mediated radiosensitization, induction of pro-survival and pro-apoptotic factors were determined by Western blot and gel-shift assays respectively. When compared to PC-3/Bcl-2 cells (SF(2)=0.84; D(0)=437cGy), the PC-3/vector cells (SF(2)=0.4; D(0)=235cGy) were significantly sensitive to ionizing radiation (p<0.001). Exposure of DX at 5 microM concentration prior or post to radiation in both PC-3/vector and PC-3/Bcl-2 transfectants caused an increase in radiation enhancement ratios. A significant reduction in G(2)M phase was observed in cells exposed to DX post IR when compared to cells exposed to IR alone. Exposure to DX after radiation in PC-3/vector significantly abrogated radiation-induced Bcl-2 upregulation, with a concomitant induction of bax protein. In PC-3/Bcl-2 transfectants, DX exposure after IR caused an induction of bax protein. Gel shift assays indicated that in PC-3/vector cells when exposed to IR caused an induction of NFkappa-B activity however, DX down regulated the NFkappa-B activity. Radiation-induced NFkappa-B activity was abrogated in pre and post DX exposure in combination with IR. These findings indicate that DX mediates a potent radiosensitizing effect in p53 null prostate cancer cells by overcoming radiation induced NFkappa-B activity and Bcl-2 expression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / radiation effects
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mitosis / drug effects
  • Mitosis / radiation effects
  • NF-kappa B / drug effects
  • NF-kappa B / radiation effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / radiation effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / radiation effects
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BAX protein, human
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • NF-kappa B
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • 3,4-dihydroxybenzohydroxamic acid