To investigate whether PTEN can augment doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in PTEN-null Ishikawa cells. We previously demonstrated that Ishikawa cells do not possess functional PTEN protein because of protein truncations. Clones expressing the steady-state level of the PTEN protein from PTEN-null Ishikawa cells have been established and were used in this study. Doxorubicin is a commonly used anticancer drug in endometrial carcinoma. The cytotoxic effect of doxorubicin was evaluated using the methyl thiazoleterazolium (MTT) assay. We used the Hoechst 33258 staining to confirm the induction of apoptosis. Immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis were performed to evaluate the effects of doxorubicin on phosphorylation of Bcl-2 antagonist of cell death (Bad) and protein kinase B (Akt/PKB). Doxorubicin induced death of all cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, but the death was more significant in PTEN-expressing clones than in parent Ishikawa cells. A low concentration of doxorubicin (0.1 μM) did not affect apoptosis in PTEN-null Ishikawa cells, but it induced apoptosis in PTEN-expressing clones. A high concentration (1 μM) induced apoptosis in all cell lines, but the percentages of apoptotic cells were higher in PTEN-expressing clones than in parent Ishikawa cells. In the clones, phospho-Akt/PKB and phospho-Bad (Ser-136) were downregulated. Doxorubicin reduced the levels of phospho-Akt/PKB and phospho-Bad (Ser-136) in all the cell lines, but the reduction was most significant in the PTEN-expressing clones. Our present results indicate that PTEN transfection significantly enhances doxorubicin chemosensitivity through effective induction of apoptosis by downregulation of the PI3K/Akt/PKB signaling pathway in Ishikawa cells.
- endometrial carcinoma cell line
- PTEN gene
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