Lack of functional p53 renders DENSpm-induced autophagy and apoptosis in time dependent manner in colon cancer cells
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Polyamines (PAs), such as putrescine, spermidine and spermine, are alkyl-amines that are essential for cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and cancer progression in eukaryotic cells. A designed PA analogue; DENSpm, induces cell cycle arrest, inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in melanoma, breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cells. Although the mechanism by which DENSpm induces apoptosis has been examined, the effect of DENSpm on autophagy has not been investigated yet. Therefore, in this study, our objective was to determine the role of p53 in the DENSpm-induced autophagy/apoptotic regulation in a time-dependent manner in colon cancer cells. Exposure of HCT 116 colon cancer cells to DENSpm decreased cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, the p53 mutant, SW480, and deficient HCT 116 p53(-/-) cells were more resistant to DENSpm treatment compared to HCT 116 p53(+/+) cells. The resistant profile caused by p53 defect also caused a cell type-specific response to PA pool depletion and SSAT overexpression. In addition to PA depletion, DENSpm induced apoptosis by activating the mitochondria-mediated pathway in a caspase-dependent manner regardless of p53 expression in colon cancer cells. Concomitantly, we determined that DENSpm also affected autophagy in HCT 116 p53(+/+), SW480 and HCT 116 p53(-/-) colon cancer cells for different periods of exposure to DENSpm. Therefore, this study revealed that effect of DENSpm on cell death differs due to p53 protein expression profile. In addition, DENSpm-induced autophagy may be critical in drug resistance in colon cancer cells.