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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #258662

Title: Selenium compounds activate ATM-dependent DNA damage responses via the mismatch repair protein hMLH1 in colorectal cancer cells

item QI, YONGMEI - University Of Maryland
item Schoene, Norberta
item LARTEY, FREDERICK - Stanford University
item CHENG, WEM-HSING - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2011
Publication Date: 9/26/2011
Citation: Qi, Y., Schoene, N.W., Lartey, F., Cheng, W. 2011. Selenium compounds activate ATM-dependent DNA damage responses via the mismatch repair protein hMLH1 in colorectal cancer cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285(43):33010-33017.

Interpretive Summary: Selenium (Se) is a dietary essential nutrient that is thought to have chemo-preventive properties. However, targets for this action have not been identified. In an earlier study with cultured cells, we showed that at low doses of Se compounds these normal cells become senescent (growth suspension) while the tumor cells were not affected and continued to grow. In this study, we investigated the effects of higher doses of Se compounds on a protein in colon cancer cells that regulates processes that remove defective cells and prevent tumor progression. Our experiments showed that the presence of this protein, along with a partner protein, was required for the Se-induced responses to cellular DNA repair and growth cessation. This information about the newly identified target of Se chemo-preventive action adds to the knowledge base for understanding the role of this essential nutrient in preventing cancer. This advance will be of interest to researchers in nutrition, oncology and other health-related fields.

Technical Abstract: Epidemiological and animal studies indicate that selenium supplementation suppresses risk of colorectal and other cancers. The majority of colorectal cancers are characterized by a defective DNA mismatch repair (MMR) process. Here, we have employed the MMR-deficient HCT 116 colorectal cancer cells and the MMR-proficient HCT 116 cells with hMLH1 complementation to investigate the role of hMLH1 in selenium-induced DNA damage response, a tumorigenesis barrier. The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein responds to clastogens and initiates DNA damage response. We show that hMLH1 complementation sensitizes HCT 116 cells to methylseleninic acid, methylselenocysteine and sodium selenite via reactive oxygen species (ROS), and facilitates the selenium-induced oxidative 8-oxoguanine damage, DNA breaks, G2/M checkpoint response, and ATM pathway activation. Pretreatment of the hMLH1-complemented HCT 116 cells with the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine or 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl or the ATM kinase inhibitor KU55933 suppresses the HMLH1 dependent DNA damage responses to selenium exposure. Selenium treatment stimulates the association between hMLH1 and hPMS2 (a heterodimer protein complex critical for functional MMR) that is dependent on ATM and ROS. Taken together, our results describe a novel role for selenium in mitigating tumorigenesis by promoting this critical dimer formation followed by DNA repair. Lack of hMLH1 renders the HCT 116 colorectal cancer cells resistant to selenium-induced DNA damage response.