Antisense Bcl-2 sensitizes prostate cancer cells to radiation

Zhaomei Mu, Paul Hachem, Alan Pollack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Bcl-2 is anti-apoptotic and overexpression is associated with prostate tumor aggressiveness. We hypothesized that Bcl-2 has a role in prostate cancer radiation (RT) response. The relationship of Bcl-2 expression in four prostate cancer cell lines, and the effect of modulating expression with a Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide (G3139, Genasense®, oblimersen sodium, Genta Incorporated), to RT was examined. METHODS. The four cell lines studied were LNCaP (wild type-p53), PCS (p53 null), Bcl-2 stably transfected LNCaP (LNCaP-BST), and Bcl-2 stably transfected PCS (PC3-BST) cells. Cells were treated with antisense (AS) Bcl-2 alone or with RT (2-6 Gy). Following RT, cells were processed at 3-6 hr for Western blots, 18 hr for Annexin V staining and flow cytometric analysis, 24 hr for caspases 3 + 7 quantification by fluorometric assay, and immediately for clonogenic survival. RESULTS. AS caused a significant reduction in Bcl-2 expression in all cell lines. P53 expression was elevated following RT treatment in LNCaP and LNCaP-BST cells. P21 was increased by RT treatment in all cell lines. AS caused a significant increase in caspase 3 + 7 activity over the mismatch (MM) controls in all cell lines. When AS was combined with RT, caspase 3 + 7 activity was further increased significantly over all other groups in all cell lines. Moreover, AS + RT resulted in significantly reduced clonogenic survival over MM + RT, which was dampened in the Bcl-2 overexpressing lines. CONCLUSIONS. To our knowledge, these data demonstrate for the first time that a Bcl-2 specific AS oligonucleotide sensitizes prostate cancer cells to RT. p53 is not required for this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Antisense Bcl-2
  • Apoptosis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Oncology


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