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Title: The potential impact of Connexin 43 expression on Bcl-2 protein level and taxane sensitivity in head and neck cancers - in vitro studies
Authors: Gurbi, Bianka
Brauswetter, Diána
Varga, Attila
Gyulavári, Pál
Pénzes, Kinga
Murányi, József
Zámbó, Veronika
Birtalan, Ede
Krenács, Tibor
Becker, David Laurence
Csala, Miklós
Vályi-Nagy, István
Peták, István
Dános, Kornél
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Gurbi, B., Brauswetter, D., Varga, A., Gyulavári, P., Pénzes, K., Murányi, J., . . . Dános, K. (2019). The potential impact of Connexin 43 expression on Bcl-2 protein level and taxane sensitivity in head and neck cancers – in vitro studies. Cancers, 11(12), 1848-. doi:10.3390/cancers11121848
Journal: Cancers
Abstract: The poor prognosis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is partly due to the lack of reliable predictive markers. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein and its cell-communication channels have been assigned tumor suppressor functions while the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma-2) protein has been associated with negative prognostic significance in cancer. This study aimed to test the role of Cx43 protein on Bcl-2 expression, tumor progression and response to taxane-based treatment in HNSCC. Human papillomavirus (HPV) negative HNSCC cell lines were tested for paclitaxel sensitivity through measuring apoptosis induction, cell viability and changes in Cx43 and Bcl-2 levels using flow cytometry, cell viability assay, immunocytochemistry and western blot. Inhibition of Cx43 expression using siRNA increased Bcl-2 protein levels in SCC25 (tongue squamous cell carcinoma) cells, while forced Cx43 expression reduced Bcl-2 levels and supported paclitaxel cytotoxicity in FaDu (hypopharynx squamous cell carcinoma) cells. In vitro results were in line with protein expression and clinicopathological features tested in tissue microarray samples of HNSCC patients. Our data demonstrate that elevated Cx43 and reduced Bcl-2 levels may indicate HNSCC sensitivity to taxane-based treatments. On the contrary, silencing of the Cx43 gene GJA1 (gap junction protein alpha-1) can result in increased Bcl-2 expression and reduced paclitaxel efficiency. Clinical tumor-based analysis also confirmed the inverse correlation between Cx43 and Bcl-2 expression.
ISSN: 2072-6694
DOI: 10.3390/cancers11121848
Rights: © 2019 The Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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