7,12-Dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA), a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, exhibits mutagenic, carcinogenic, immunosuppressive, and apoptogenic properties in various cell types. To achieve these functions effectively, DMBA is modified to its active form by cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1). Exposure to DMBA causes cytotoxicity-mediated apoptosis in bone marrow B cells and ovarian cells. Although uterine endometrium constitutively expresses CYP1A1 and CYP1B1, their apoptotic role after exposure to DMBA remains to be elucidated. Therefore, we chose RL95-2 endometrial cancer cells as a model system for studying DMBA-induced cytotoxicity and cell death and hypothesized that exposure to DMBA causes apoptosis in this cell type following CYP1A1 and/or CYP1B1 activation. We showed that DMBA-induced apoptosis in RL95-2 cells is associated with activation of caspases. In addition, mitochondrial changes, including decrease in mitochondrial potential and release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into the cytosol, support the hypothesis that a mitochondrial pathway is involved in DMBA-induced apoptosis. Exposure to DMBA upregulated the expression of AhR, Arnt, CYP1A1, and CYP1B1 significantly; this may be necessary for the conversion of DMBA to DMBA-3,4-diol-1,2-epoxide (DMBA-DE). Although both CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 were significantly upregulated by DMBA, only CYP1B1 exhibited activity. Moreover, knockdown of CYP1B1 abolished DMBA-induced apoptosis in RL95-2 cells. Our data show that RL95-2 cells are susceptible to apoptosis by exposure to DMBA and that CYP1B1 plays a pivotal role in DMBA-induced apoptosis in this system.
- Endometrial cancer cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas