Radiosensitisation of bladder cancer cells by panobinostat is modulated by Ku80 expression

Blaz Groselj, Martin Kerr, Anne E. Kiltie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: In muscle-invasive bladder cancer there is an urgent need to identify relatively non-toxic radiosensitising agents for use in elderly patients. Histone deacetylase inhibitors radiosensitise tumour cells but not normal cells in vitro and variously downregulate DNA damage signalling, homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair proteins. We investigated panobinostat (PAN) as a potential radiosensitiser in bladder cancer cells. Materials and methods: Clonogenic assays were performed in RT112 bladder cancer cells, and RT112 cells stably knocked down for RAD51 or Ku80 by shRNAi. Resolution of γH2AX foci was determined by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, cell cycle progression by FACS analysis and protein expression by western blotting. Results: PAN had a greater radiosensitising effect in Ku80KD than RT112 or RAD51KD cells; enhancement ratios 1.35 for Ku80KD at 10 nM (IC20 for Ku80KD) and 1.31 for RT112 and RAD51KD at 25 nM (IC40 for both). PAN downregulated MRE11, NBS1 and RAD51, but not Ku70 and Ku80, increased γH2AX foci formation in a dose-dependent manner and delayed γH2AX foci repair after ionising radiation. Conclusions: PAN acts as a radiosensitiser in bladder cancer cell lines, and appears to target HR rather than NHEJ. As muscle-invasive bladder tumours have reduced Ku-DNA binding, PAN could be particularly useful as a radiosensitiser in bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-433
Number of pages5
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Slovene Human Resources Scholarship Fund (B. Groselj) and Cancer Research UK Program Grant C5255/A15935 (M. Kerr and A.E. Kiltie). The study sponsors had no involvement in the study.


  • Bladder cancer
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitor
  • Ku80
  • Panobinostat
  • Radiosensitisation


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