Research Papers:

Non-thermal plasma-induced apoptosis is modulated by ATR- and PARP1-mediated DNA damage responses and circadian clock

Ji Ye Choi, Hea Min Joh, Jeong-Min Park, Min Ji Kim, Tae Hun Chung and Tae-Hong Kang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:32980-32989. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9087

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Ji Ye Choi1, Hea Min Joh2, Jeong-Min Park1, Min Ji Kim1, Tae Hun Chung2, Tae-Hong Kang1

1Department of Biological Science, Dong-A University, Busan 604714, Republic of Korea

2Department of Physics, Dong-A University, Busan 604714, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Tae-Hong Kang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: non-thermal plasma, DNA damage response, ATR, PARP1, circadian clock

Received: March 04, 2016     Accepted: April 11, 2016     Published: April 28, 2016


Non-thermal plasma (NTP) has been emerging as a potential cancer therapeutic. However, the practical use of NTP as a cancer therapy requires a better understanding of the precise mechanisms underlying NTP-induced DNA damage responses in order to achieve optimal efficacy. It has been shown that the addition of oxygen gas flow during NTP treatment (NTPO), when compared to NTP exposure alone, can induce a 2–3 fold greater generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in A549 cells. Here, we examined NTPO-induced DNA damage responses and found that NTPO generated a substantial number of genomic DNA lesions and breaks that activated ATR-mediated cell-cycle checkpoints. In addition, we discovered that NTPO-induced DNA lesions were primarily removed by base excision repair (BER) rather than by nucleotide excision repair (NER). Therefore, the inhibition of the BER pathway using a PARP1 inhibitor drastically induced the phosphorylation of γH2AX, and was followed by the programmed cell death of cancer cells. However, the knock-down of XPA, which inhibited the NER pathway, had no effect on NTPO-induced phosphorylation of γH2AX. Finally, in agreement with a recent report, we found a circadian rhythm of PARP1 activity in normal mouse embryonic fibroblasts that needed for cell viability upon NTPO treatment. Taken together, our findings provided an advanced NTP regimen for cancer treatment by combining NTPO treatment with chemical adjuvants for the inhibition of ATR- and PARP1-activated DNA damage responses, and circadian timing of treatment.

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