Hydrogen peroxide causes cell death via increased transcription of hoxb13 in human lung epithelial a549 cells

Naoki Endo, Takashi Toyama, Akira Naganuma, Yoshiro Saito, Gi Wook Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although homeobox protein B13 (HOXB13) is an oncogenic transcription factor, its role in stress response has rarely been examined. We previously reported that knockdown of HOXB13 reduces the cytotoxicity caused by various oxidative stress inducers. Here, we studied the role of HOXB13 in cytotoxicity caused by hydrogen peroxide in human lung epithelial A549 cells. The knockdown of HOXB13 reduced hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity; however, this phenomenon was largely absent in the presence of antioxidants (Trolox or N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)). This suggests that HOXB13 may be involved in the cytotoxicity caused by hydrogen peroxide via the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Hydrogen peroxide also increased both the mRNA and protein levels of HOXB13. However, these increases were rarely observed in the presence of a transcriptional inhibitor, which suggests that hydrogen peroxide increases protein levels via increased transcription of HOXB13. Furthermore, cell death occurred in A549 cells that highly expressed HOXB13. However, this cell death was mostly inhibited by treatment with antioxidants. Taken together, our findings indicate that HOXB13 may be a novel factor involved in the induction of oxidative stress, which causes cell death via intracellular ROS production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec


  • HOXB13
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)


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