Downregulation of TMPRSS4 Enhances Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell Radiosensitivity Through Cell Cycle and Cell Apoptosis Process Impairment

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors; Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

2 Department of Radiation and Medical Oncology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

3 University of Abomey Calavi, BP 526, Cotonou, Benin.


Background: Radioresistance remains a challenge for cancer radiotherapy. The present study aims to investigate the role of TMPRSS4 in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell radiosensitivity. Materials and Methods: After transfection of MDA-MD-468 triple negative breast cancer cells line by using the lentivirus vector, the effect of TMPRSS4 down-regulation on TNBC radiosensitivity was evaluated by using cloning assay and CCK-8 assay. The CCK-8 assay was also used for performing cell proliferation analysis. Western blot was carried out to detect the expression of certain proteins related to cell cycle pathways (cyclin D1), cell apoptosis pathways (Bax, Bcl2, and Caspase3), DNA damage and DNA damage repair (TRF2, Ku80 , ˠH2AX) . The cell cycle and cell apoptosis were also investigated using flow cytometer analysis. Results: TMPRSS4 expression was down-regulated in MDA-MB-468 cells which enhanced MDA-MB-468 cells radiosensitivity. TMPRSS4 silencing also improved IR induced cell proliferation ability reduction and promoted cell arrested at G2/M phase mediated by 6 Gy IR associated with cyclin D1 expression inhibition. Moreover, TMPRSS4 inhibition enhanced TNBC apoptosis induced by 6 Gy IR following by over-expression of (Bax, Caspase3) and down-regulation of Bcl2 as the pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins, respectively. Otherwise, TMPRSS4 down-regulation increases  DNA damage induced by 6 Gy IR and delays DNA damage repair respectively illustrated by downregulation of TRF2 and permanent increase of Ku80 and ˠH2AX expression at 1 h and 10 h post-IR. Conclusion: Down-regulation of TMPRSS4 increases triple negative breast cancer cell radiosensitivity and the use of TMPRSS4 inhibitor can be encouraged for improving radiotherapy effectiveness in TNBC radioresistant patients.