Tumor recurrence and distant metastasis following radiotherapy, which can lead to poor prognosis, are caused by residual cancer cells that acquire radioresistance. Chemotherapy or a combination of targeted inhibitors can potentially enhance radiation sensitivity and prevent metastasis. It was previously reported that co-administration of the hyaluronan synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) enhanced the lethality of X-ray irradiation in HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells and decreased their invasiveness to a greater extent than either treatment alone. To clarify the molecular basis of these effects, the present study conducted mRNA expression profiling by cDNA microarray to identify the signaling pathways that are altered under this combination treatment. The activation state of the signaling pathways was classified by z-scores in the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. The results revealed that the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 were activated by 2 Gy X-ray irradiation, an effect that was abolished by co-administration of 4-MU. Similar trends were observed for the upstream signaling component IL-1. These results indicate that the radiosensitivity of fibrosarcoma cells is improved by suppressing inflammation through the administration of 4-MU.
Keywords: 4-methy-lumbelliferone; hyaluronan; inflammatory cytokine; radioresistance.