Deficiency in the 15 kDa selenoprotein inhibits human colon cancer cell growth

Petra A. Tsuji, Salvador Naranjo-Suarez, Bradley A. Carlson, Ryuta Tobe, Min Hyuk Yoo, Cindy D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium is an essential micronutrient for humans and animals, and is thought to provide protection against some forms of cancer. These protective effects appear to be mediated, at least in part, through selenium-containing proteins (selenoproteins). Recent studies in a mouse colon cancer cell line have shown that the 15 kDa selenoprotein (Sep15) may also play a role in promoting colon cancer. The current study investigated whether the effects of reversing the cancer phenotype observed when Sep15 was removed in mouse colon cancer cells, were recapitulated in HCT116 and HT29 human colorectal carcinoma cells. Targeted down-regulation of Sep15 using RNAi technology in these human colon cancer cell lines resulted in similarly decreased growth under anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent conditions. However, the magnitude of reduction in cell growth was much less than in the mouse colon cancer cell line investigated previously. Furthermore, changes in cell cycle distribution were observed, indicating a delayed release of Sep15 deficient cells from the G0/G1 phase after synchronization. The potential mechanism by which human colon cancer cells lacking Sep15 revert their cancer phenotype will need to be explored further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-817
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer prevention
  • HCT116 cells
  • HT29 cells
  • Selenium
  • shRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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