Author: Chunjin Xu and Feng Xu
Publishing Date: 2016
Volume: 29 Issue: 4
The roles of autophagy in pancreatic cancers are complex and may differ depending on tumor type or context. This study aimed to investigate if aloe polysaccharide can be used as a radio-sensitizing chemical to induce autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells. Pancreatic carcinoma BxPC-3 cells were divided into four groups: A control group, an aloe polysaccharide only group, a radiation only group and a radiation combined with aloe polysaccharide group (combination group). Transmission electron microscopy was used to observe ultra structural changes of autophagosomes in each cell group. The mRNA expressions of ULK1, GABARAPL1, BECN1, and BCL-2 were detected by real-time PCR. Autophagosomes or autophagolysosomes were observed in all experimental groups except the control group. Compared with the control group, ULK1 mRNA expression was up-regulated and BECN1 and BCL-2 mRNA expression were down-regulated in all groups (P<0.05); changes in expression were most obvious in the combination group (P<0.05). GABARAPL1 mRNA expression was up-regulated in the combination group (P<0.05), but had no significant changes among other groups. In brief, aloe polysaccharide induces autophagy in pancreatic carcinoma BxPC-3 cells both alone and in concert with radiation. Autophagic cell death may be one of the mechanisms producing a radiosensitizing effect.
KEYWORDS: Aloe polysaccharide; pancreatic carcinoma; radio sensitizing; autophagy.