Swedish Cancer Foundation
Post-Doctor Research Project of Sichuan University
Natural Science Foundation of Sichuan Province (四川省自然科学基金)
ARTICLE ABSTRACTp53 mutation is common and highly related to radiotherapy resistance in rectal cancer. APR-246, as a small molecule, can restore the tumor-suppressor function to mutant p53. As there is currently no existing study on combining APR-246 with radiation in rectal cancer, our objective was to investigate whether APR-246 could enhance the sensitivity of colorectal cancer cells, regardless of their p53 status, to radiation treatment. The combination treatment had synergistic effects on HCT116p53-R248W/− (p53Mut) cells, followed by HCT116p53+/+ [wild-type p53 (p53WT)] cells, and exhibited an additive effect on HCT116p53−/− (p53Null) cells through inhibiting proliferation, enhancing reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis. The results were confirmed in zebrafish xenografts. Mechanistically, p53Mut and p53WT cells shared more activated pathways and differentially expressed genes following the combination treatment, compared with p53Null cells, although the combination treatment regulated individual pathways in the different cell lines. APR-246 mediated radiosensitization effects through p53-dependent and -independent ways. The results may provide evidence for a clinical trial of the combination in patients with rectal cancer.