Overexpression ofBax sensitizes breast cancer MCF-7 cells to cisplatin and etoposide
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Bax, one of thebcl-2 family genes, is expressed in a number of untransformed cell lines and various breast tissues, whereas only weak or no expression has been detected in breast cancer cell lines and malignant breast tissue. Human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, which have a weakbax gene expression, were stably transfected withpCX2neo bax, encoding humanbax; and two unique clones,MCF-7/bax-1 andMCF-7/bax-2, that expressed different levels ofbax were generated. Sensitivity to cisplatin (CDDP) and etoposide (VP-16) was examined and each stable transfectant was more sensitive to these agents than the parental MCF-7 cells. The degree of enhancement in sensitivity to these anticancer agents was dependent on the expression level ofbax. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which quantifies DNA damage, demonstrated that this sensitization was due to apoptosis. Thus, we suggest that exogenousbax-α overexpression may be one of the factors determining cellular chemosensitivity in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and that it could be applied therapeutically to enhance chemosensitivity in breast cancer cells.
Key Wordsbreast cancer chemosensitivity bax apoptosis
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