The SMAC mimetic BV6 sensitizes colorectal cancer cells to ionizing radiation by interfering with DNA repair processes and enhancing apoptosis

  • Background: In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effect of counteracting inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins using the small molecule Second Mitochondria-derived Activator of Caspase (SMAC) mimetic BV6 in combination with ionizing radiation on apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, three-dimensional (3D) clonogenic survival and expression of IAPs in colorectal carcinoma cells. Material and methods: Colorectal cancer cell lines (HCT-15, HT-29, SW480) were subjected to BV6 treatment (0–4 μM) with or without irradiation (2–8 Gy, single dose) followed by MTT, Caspase 3/7 activity, γH2AX/53BP1 foci assays, AnnexinV staining, cell cycle analysis, 3D colony forming assays and Western blotting (cellular IAP1 (cIAP1) and cIAP2, Survivin, X-linked IAP (XIAP)). Results: BV6 treatment decreased cell viability and significantly increased irradiation-induced apoptosis as analyzed by Caspase 3/7 activity, AnnexinV-positive and subG1 phase cells. While basal 3D clonogenic survival was decreased in a cell line-dependent manner, BV6 significantly enhanced cellular radiosensitivity of all cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner and increased the number of radiation-induced γH2AX/53BP1-positive foci. Western blot analysis revealed a markedly reduced cIAP1 expression at 4 h after BV6 treatment in all cell lines, a substantial reduction of XIAP expression in SW480 and HT-29 cells at 24 h and a slightly decreased cIAP2 expression in HCT-15 cells at 48 h after treatment. Moreover, single or double knockdown of cIAP1 and XIAP resulted in significantly increased residual γH2AX/53BP1-positive foci 24 h after 2 Gy and radiosensitization relative to control small interfering RNA (siRNA)-treated cells. Conclusion: The SMAC mimetic BV6 induced apoptosis and hampered DNA damage repair to radiosensitize 3D grown colorectal cancer cells. Our results demonstrate IAP targeting as a promising strategy to counteract radiation resistance of colorectal cancer cells.

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Author:Stephanie HehlgansORCiDGND, Julius Oppermann, Sebastian Reichert, Simone FuldaORCiDGND, Claus RödelORCiDGND, Franz RödelORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Radiation oncology
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2015/09/17
Date of first Publication:2015/09/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/06/17
Issue:Art. 198
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0