Radio-selective Effects of a Natural Occurring Muscle-Derived Dipeptide in A549 and Normal Cell Lines

Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 8;9(1):11513. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47944-5.


Radiotherapy (RT) causes morbidity and long-term side effects. A challenge in RT is to maximize cancer cells killing while minimizing damage to normal tissue. The ideal radio-protector selectively improves survival and limits damage to normal tissues while reducing survival of cancer cells. Muscle-derived dipeptide, L-carnosine (CAR) is a potent antioxidant, with radio-protective, but also anticancer properties, affecting the cell cycle of cancer cells. We tested CAR effects in lung cancer cells, differentiated and undifferentiated normal cells. We hypothesized that CAR antioxidant properties will confer protection to the two normal cell lines against RT, while preventing lung cancer cell proliferation, and that CAR may act as a radiosensitizer of lung cancer cells due to its effects on cell-cycle progression of cancer cells. Under the experimental conditions reported here, we found that CAR increased radio-sensitivity of lung (A549) cancer cells by increasing the percentage of cells in G2/M (radiosensitive) phase of cell cycle, it negatively affected their bioenergetics, therefore reduced their viability, and DNA-double strand break repair capacity. CAR had either no effect or reduced RT-induced damage in normal cells, depending on the cell type. CAR is a versatile natural occurring compound, that could improve RT-induced lung cancer cells killing, while reducing the damage to normal differentiated and undifferentiated cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't