Medical Oncology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 278–285 | Cite as

5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine is a potent inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase 3B and induces apoptosis in human endometrial cancer cell lines with the up-regulation of hMLH1

  • Min Cui
  • Zeqing WenEmail author
  • Ji Chen
  • Zhongli Yang
  • Hualing Zhang
Original Paper


The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-azadC) on cell growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis as well as the expression levels of hMLH1 and DNMT3B in human endometrial cancer cell lines. Ishikawa, HHUA, and KLE cell lines were used. After treatment with 5-azadC, cells were measured by MTT to detect the growth inhibition. Flow cytometry analysis was used to evaluate the cell cycle distribution and apoptosis effect. The expression of hMLH1 and DNMT3B was performed by real-time PCR and Western blotting analysis. The methylation status of the hMLH1 gene was monitored by methylation-specific PCR. We confirmed that 5-azadC treatment resulted in growth inhibition, G2 arrest, and cell apoptosis in human endometrial cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the data obtained by real-time PCR and Western blotting analysis demonstrated that the expression of hMLH1 was up-regulated by 5-azadC treatment in Ishikawa cells, accompanied by down-regulation of DNMT3B expression, when 5-azadC led to cell inhibition, G2/M arrest, and apoptosis. Our results suggested that 5-azadC is a potent inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase 3B and induces apoptosis in Ishikawa cells with the up-regulation of hMLH1.


5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine DNA methyltransferase 3B DNA mismatch repair MLH1 protein, human Apoptosis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Cui
    • 1
  • Zeqing Wen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ji Chen
    • 2
  • Zhongli Yang
    • 1
  • Hualing Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shandong Provincial HospitalShandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Urology, Shandong Provincial HospitalShandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China

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