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Senolytic agents eliminate senescent cells and are expected to reduce senescent cell-mediated adverse effects in cancer therapy. However, the effects of senolytic agents on the survival of irradiated cancer cells remain unknown. Here, the effects of the senolytic agent ABT-263 on the survival of irradiated A549 and Ca9-22 cancer cells were investigated. ABT-263 was added to the culture medium after irradiation. SA-β-gal activity and cell size, which are hallmarks of cell senescence, were evaluated using a flow cytometer. The colony-forming assay and annexin V staining were performed to test cell survival. We first confirmed that radiation increased the proportion of cells with high SA-β-gal activity and that ABT-263 decreased it. Of note, ABT-263 decreased the survival of irradiated cancer cells and increased the proportion of radiation-induced annexin V+ cells. Furthermore, the caspase inhibitor suppressed the ABT-263-induced decrease in the survival of irradiated cells. Intriguingly, ABT-263 decreased the proportion of SA-β-gal low-activity/large cells in the irradiated A549 cells, which was recovered by the caspase inhibitor. Together, these findings suggest that populations maintaining the ability to proliferate existed among the irradiated cancer cells showing senescence-related features and that ABT-263 eliminated the population, which led to decreased survival of irradiated cancer cells.


Kota Sato, Soichiro Iwasaki, Hironori Yoshino. Effects and Related Mechanisms of the Senolytic Agent ABT-263 on the Survival of Irradiated A549 and Ca9-22 Cancer Cells. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Dec 08;22(24)

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PMID: 34948029

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