Treatment with deferoxamine disrupts intracellular iron homeostasis and enhances apoptosis in breast cancer cells in vitro
By Khuloud Bajbouj Biography
Post Doctoral Research Associate: Iron Biology Research Group-SIMR
Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that different forms of cancer associate with iron overload. Hence, iron chelation therapy is being increasingly used as part of the treatment protocol in cancer patients. However, the effects of iron chelation therapy on intracellular iron status and metabolism are not well understood. To address this issue, non-aggressive MCF-7 breast cancer cells were treated with increasing concentrations of the iron chelator deferoxamine (DFO) and assessed for intracellular labile iron status, the expression profile of several proteins involved in iron metabolism along with cell viability and apoptosis. At 24h, DFO treatment resulted in a significant decrease in intracellular labile iron that associated with increased expression of hepcidin, ferroportin, ferritin, and transferrin receptors 1 and 2. At 48h post DFO treatment however, there was a noticeable increase in intracellular labile iron content that associated with a significant reduction in hepcidin and ferritin expression and a significant increase in ferroportin expression. The expression of transferrin receptors 1 and 2 decreased with increasing concentrations of DFO. Furthermore, DFO treatment resulted in a precipitous and time-dependent decrease in cell count, cell viability and wound healing potential that associated with increased expression of pH2AX and near absence of BIRC5 (survivin). These findings suggest that DFO reduces cell viability and growth and enhances apoptosis in cancer cells through its ability to deplete intracellular iron and disrupt cellular iron homeostasis.
Khuloud Bajbouj Biography
Khuloud Bajbouj earned her BSc. From UAE University in Biology (Cellular and Molecular Biology Concentration), MSc. in Neuroscience, and PhD in Biology form Otto-von-Guericke University, Germany. She is currently working as Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Iron Biology group, SIMR, University of Sharjah. Her field of experience and published papers are in the areas that study Molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of the interaction between tumor and immune cells, testing new drugs as new potential treatment of cancer and protein-protein interactions and molecular signaling during the apoptotic cascade.