In Vitro Trial
The E1a gene from adenovirus is known to be a potent inducer of chemo/radiosensitivity in a wide range of tumors. However, the molecular bases of its radiosensitizer properties are still poorly understood. In an attempt to study this effect, U87MG cells, derived from a radio-resistant tumor as glioblastoma, where infected with lentivirus carrying E1a gene developing an acute sensitivity to ionizing radiation. The induction of radiosensitivity correlated with a marked G2/M phase accumulation and a potent apoptotic response. Our findings demonstrate that c-Myc plays a pivotal role in E1a-associated radiosensitivity through the induction of a replicative stress situation, as our data support by genetic approaches, based in interference and overexpression in U87MG cells. In fact, we present evidence showing that Chk1 is a novel transcriptional target of E1a gene through the effect exerted by this adenoviral protein onto c-Myc. Moreover, c-Myc upregulation also explains the marked phosphorylation of H2AX associated to E1a expression in the absence of DNA damage. Indeed, all these observations were applicable to other experimental models, such as T98G, LN-405 and A172, rendering the same pattern in terms of radiosensitivity, cell cycle distribution, upregulation of Chk1, c-Myc, and phosphorylation pattern of H2AX. In summary, our data propose a novel mechanism to explain how E1a mediates radiosensitivity through the signaling axis E1a→c-Myc→ replicative stress situation. This novel mechanism of E1a-mediated radiosensitivity could be the key to open new possibilities in the current therapy of glioblastoma.
M. L. Valero, F. J. Cimas, Laura Arias