Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 3429–3439 | Cite as

Reactive oxygen species, glutathione, and thioredoxin influence suberoyl bishydroxamic acid-induced apoptosis in A549 lung cancer cells

  • Bo Ra You
  • Suhn Hee Kim
  • Woo Hyun Park
Research Article


Suberoyl bishydroxamic acid (SBHA) as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor can induce apoptosis through the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, there is no report about the regulation of ROS and antioxidant enzymes in SBHA-treated lung cancer cells. Here, we investigated the toxicological effects of SBHA on the regulations of ROS, glutathione (GSH), and antioxidant enzymes, especially thioredoxin (Trx) in A549 lung cancer cells. SBHA inhibited the growth of A549 cells in time- and dose-dependent manners, and it induced apoptosis which accompanied by the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP; ΔΨm). SBHA significantly increased ROS levels including O2 •− level at 72 h whereas it decreased ROS levels at the early time points (30 min to 3 h). SBHA also induced GSH depletion at 24 and 72 h. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC; a well-known antioxidant) prevented apoptotic cell death and GSH depletion via decreasing ROS in SBHA-treated A549 cells. In addition, SBHA changed the levels of antioxidant-related proteins, especially Trx1. The expression and activity of Trx1 in A549 cells were reduced by SBHA. While the downregulation of Trx1 enhanced cell death, ROS level, and GSH depletion in SBHA-treated A549 cells, the overexpression of Trx1 decreased ROS level in these cells without the prevention of cell death and GSH depletion. In conclusion, SBHA-induced A549 cell death was influenced by changes in ROS and GSH levels. The basal status of Trx1 among other antioxidant proteins was closely correlated with the survival of A549 cells.


Suberoyl bishydroxamic acid Reactive oxygen species Apoptosis Thioredoxin Glutathione 



Suberoyl bishydroxamic acid


Histone deacetylase


Reactive oxygen species


Mitochondrial membrane potential


3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Propidium iodide


Fluorescein isothiocyanate


N-acetyl cysteine


2′,7′-Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate






5-Chloromethylfluorescein diacetate




Thioredoxin reductase


Copper zinc superoxide dismutase


Manganese superoxide dismutase



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2008–0062279) and supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, (2013006279).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Medical School, Research Institute for Endocrine SciencesChonbuk National UniversityJeonJuRepublic of Korea

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