Research Papers:

Synuclein gamma expression enhances radiation resistance of breast cancer cells

Lu Tian, Yucui Zhao, Marie-José Truong, Chann Lagadec and Roland P. Bourette _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:27435-27447. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25415

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Lu Tian1, Yucui Zhao1, Marie-José Truong1, Chann Lagadec2 and Roland P. Bourette1

1University of Lille, CNRS, Institut Pasteur de Lille, UMR 8161-M3T-Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis and Targeted Therapies, SIRIC ONCOLille, F-59000 Lille, France

2University of Lille, Inserm U908 Cell Plasticity & Cancer, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

Correspondence to:

Roland P. Bourette, email: [email protected]

Keywords: synuclein gamma; breast cancer; radiation; resistance; biomarker

Received: November 15, 2017    Accepted: May 01, 2018    Published: June 08, 2018


Resistance to therapy is a major obstacle for the effective treatment of cancer. Expression of synuclein-gamma (SNCG) has been associated with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy. While reports on SNCG overexpression contributing to chemoresistance exist, limited information is available on the relationship between SNCG and radioresistance of cancer cells. Here we investigated the role of SNCG in radiation resistance in breast cancer cells. siRNA mediated knockdown of SNCG (siSNCG) markedly reduced SNCG protein level compared to scrambled siRNA (siScr) treatment. Furthermore, siSNCG treatment sensitized Estrogen Receptor-positive breast cancer cells (MCF7 and T47D) to ionizing radiation at 4 to 12 Gy as evidenced by the significant increase of apoptotic or senescent cells and reduction in clonogenic cell survival in siSNCG treated cells compared to siScr treated cells. On the other hand, we established an in vitro model of SNCG ectopic expression by using a triple-negative breast cancer cell line (SUM159PT) to further investigate the radioprotective effect of SNCG. We showed that ectopic expression of SNCG significantly decreased apoptosis of SUM159PT cells and enhanced clonogenic cell survival after radiation treatment. At the molecular level, after irradiation, the p53 pathway was less activated when SNCG was present. Conversely, p21Waf1/Cip1 expression was upregulated in SNCG-expressing cells. When p21 was down-regulated by siRNA, radiosensitivity of SNCG-expressing SUM159PT cells was dramatically increased. This suggested a possible connection between p21 and SNCG in radioresistance in these cells. In conclusion, our data provide for the first time experimental evidence for the role of SNCG in the radioresistance of breast cancer cells.

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