Effects of Nrf2 knockdown on the properties of irradiated cell conditioned medium from A549 human lung cancer cells
- Hironori Yoshino
- Kanna Murakami
- Mikoto Nawamaki
- Ikuo Kashiwakura
Published online on: March 7, 2018
The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays an important role in cellular defense against oxidative stress. Recent studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 is a useful target for cancer treatment, including radiation therapy. Ionizing radiation affects, not only the irradiated cells, but also the non‑irradiated neighboring cells, and this effect is known as radiation‑induced bystander effect. Upon exposure to radiation, the irradiated cells transmit signals to the non‑irradiated cells via gap junctions or soluble factors. These signals in turn cause biological effects, such as a decrease in the clonogenic potential and cell death, in the non‑irradiated neighboring cells. Nrf2 inhibition enhances cellular radiosensitivity. However, whether this modification of radiosensitivity by Nrf2 inhibition affects the radiation‑induced bystander effects is unknown. In this study, we prepared an Nrf2 knockdown human lung cancer cell A549 and investigated whether the effects of irradiated cell conditioned medium (ICCM) on cell growth and cell death induction of non‑irradiated cells vary depending on the Nrf2 knockdown. We found that Nrf2 knockdown resulted in a decrease in the cell growth and an increase in the radiosensitivity of A549 cells. When non‑irradiated A549 cells were transfected with control siRNA and treated with ICCM, no significant difference was observed in the cell growth and proportion of Annexin V+ dead cells between ICCM from non‑irradiated cells and that from 2 or 8 Gy‑irradiated cells. Similarly, no significant difference was observed in the cell growth and cell death induction upon treatment with ICCM in the Nrf2 knockdown A549 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Nrf2 knockdown decreases cell growth and enhances the radiosensitivity of A549 cells; however, it does not alter the effect of ICCM on cell growth.