Adenovirus-mediated p53 gene transfer sensitizes hepatocellular carcinoma cells to heavy-ion radiation

J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):140-5. doi: 10.1007/s00535-006-1977-9. Epub 2007 Mar 12.


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether adenovirus-mediated p53 transfer could sensitize hepatocellular carcinoma to heavy-ion irradiation.

Methods: HepG2 cells were preexposed to a (12)C(6+) beam, and then infected with replication-deficient adenovirus recombinant vectors containing human wild-type p53 (AdCMV-p53) ((12)C(6+) irradiation + AdCMV-p53 infection). The survival fraction was determined by clonogenic assay. The cell cycle, cell apoptosis, and p53 expression were monitored by flow cytometric analysis.

Results: p53 expression in (12)C(6+) irradiation + AdCMV-p53 infection groups was markedly higher than that in (12)C(6+) irradiation only groups (P < 0.05), suggesting that the preexposure to the (12)C(6+) beam promoted the expression of exogenous p53 in HepG2 cells infected with AdCMV-p53 only. The G(1)-phase arrest and cell apoptosis in the (12)C(6+) irradiation + AdCMV-p53 infection groups were significantly more than those in the (12)C(6+) irradiated groups (P < 0.05). The survival fractions of the (12)C(6+) irradiation + AdCMV-p53 infection groups decreased by 30%-49% compared with those of the (12)C(6+) beam-irradiated only groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Adenovirus-mediated p53 gene transfer can promote G(1)-phase arrest and cell apoptosis, thus sensitizing hepatocellular carcinoma cells to heavy-ion irradiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Carbon / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / radiotherapy*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genes, p53*
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Carbon