, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 73-78

Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis by abrogation of heat-shock protein (HSP) 70 expression in tumor cells

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Abstract

Tumor cells often express elevated levels of heat-shock protein (HSP) 70. The present study was designed to invesitgate the role of HSP70 in the proliferation and survival of tumor cells in the human system. When Molt-4 and other tumor cells were treated in vitro with HSP70 antisense oligomer, they displayed propidiumiodide-stained condensed nuclei (intact or fragmented). A ladder-like pattern of DNA fragments was observed with HSP70 antisense-oligomer-treated tumor cells in agrose gel electrophoresis, which was consistent with internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Flow cytometry analysis revealed the hypodiploid DNA peak of propidium-iodide-stained nuclei in the antisense-oligomer-treated cells. The apoptosis induced by HSP antisense oligomer was dose- and time-dependent. The antisense oligomer induced apoptosis mainly in tumor cells at G1 and S phase, resulting in an inhibition of cell proliferation. HSP70 antisense oligomer caused DNA-sequence-specific inhibition of HSP70 expression, which preceded apparent apoptosis. These results indicate that HSP70 antisense treatment inhibits the expression of HSP70, which in turn inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in tumor cells and suggest that HSP70 is required for tumor cells to proliferate and survive under normal condition.