Radiosensitization of tumour cell lines by the polyphenol Gossypol results from depressed double-strand break repair and not from enhanced apoptosis.

  • Ulla Kasten-Pisula
  • Sabine Windhorst
  • Jochen Dahm-Daphi
  • Georg W. Mayr
  • Ekkehard Dikomey


PURPOSE: New drugs are needed to increase the efficiency of radiotherapy in order to improve the therapeutic outcome of tumour patients. In this respect, the polyphenol Gossypol might be of interest, because of its effect on apoptosis and DNA repair, which is either mediated directly or indirectly via the inositol phosphate metabolism. It was investigated, whether these effects result in enhanced radiosensitivity of tumour cells. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Tumour cell lines investigated: A549, FaDu, H1299, MCF7 and Du145. Cell cycle distribution was determined by FACS analysis, apoptosis was measured by DAPI staining and caspase3/7 activity. Double-strand breaks (DSB) were investigated via gammaH2AX-foci and cell survival by colony formation assay. The level of inositol phosphates was determined by HPLC, protein expression by Western blot. RESULTS: In A549 cells, Gossypol at concentrations 1microM strongly affects proliferation with only a modest arrest in the G1-phase, but with no increase in the fraction of apoptotic cells or the number of additional DSB. Additional DSB were only seen in FaDu cells, where Gossypol (2microM) was extremely toxic with a plating efficiency

Bibliographical data

Original languageGerman
Article number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
pubmed 17521756