Background Presence of unperfused regions containing cells under hypoxia and nutrient starvation contributes to radioresistance in solid human tumors. It is well known that hypoxia causes cellular radioresistance, but little is known about the effects of nutrient starvation on radiosensitivity. We have reported that nutrient starvation induced decrease of mTORC1 activity and decrease of radiosensitivity in an SV40-transformed human fibroblast cell line, LM217, and that nutrient starvation induced increase of mTORC1 activity and increase of radiosensitivity in human liver cancer cell lines, HepG2 and HuH6 (Murata et al., BBRC 2015). Knockdown of mTOR using small interfering RNA (siRNA) for mTOR suppressed radiosensitivity under nutrient starvation alone in HepG2 cells, which suggests that mTORC1 pathway regulates radiosensitivity under nutrient starvation alone. In the present study, effects of hypoxia and nutrient starvation on radiosensitivity were investigated using the same cell lines. Methods LM217 and HepG2 cells were used to examine the effects of hypoxia and nutrient starvation on cellular radiosensitivity, mTORC1 pathway including AMPK, ATM, and HIF-1α which are known as regulators of mTORC1 activity, and glycogen storage, which is induced by HIF-1 and HIF-2 under hypoxia and promotes cell survival. Results Under hypoxia and nutrient starvation, AMPK activity and ATM expression were increased in LM217 cells and decreased in HepG2 cells compared with AMPK activity under nutrient starvation alone or ATM expression under hypoxia alone. Under hypoxia and nutrient starvation, radiosensitivity was decreased in LM217 cells and increased in HepG2 cells compared with radiosensitivity under hypoxia alone. Under hypoxia and nutrient starvation, knockdown of AMPK decreased ATM activity and increased radiation sensitivity in LM217 cells. In both cell lines, mTORC1 activity was decreased under hypoxia and nutrient starvation. Under hypoxia alone, knockdown of mTOR slightly increased ATM expression but did not affect radiosensitivity in LM217. Under hypoxia and nutrient starvation, HIF-1α expression was suppressed and glycogen storage was reduced. Conclusion Our data suggest that AMPK regulates ATM expression and partially regulates radiosensitivity under hypoxia and nutrient starvation. The molecular mechanism underlying the induction of ATM expression by AMPK remains to be elucidated.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Jan 22|