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Keywords:

  • BRF1;
  • cisplatin;
  • sensitivity;
  • HNSCC

Abstract

Cisplatin is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Resistance to cisplatin is a common feature of HNSCC. To identify genes that may regulate cisplatin sensitivity, we carried out a cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression in cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant HNSCC-derived cell lines. Among genes differentially expressed by cisplatin treatment, we have confirmed the elevated expression of butyrate responsive factor 1 (BRF1) in cisplatin-sensitive HNSCC cells and have demonstrated that the expression level of BRF1 is associated with cisplatin-sensitivity. Specific inhibition of BRF1 expression using an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) decreased the cisplatin-sensitivity and, on the contrary, overexpression of BRF1 increased cisplatin-sensitivity in HNSCC cells. Elevated expression of BRF1 decreased the level of the human inhibitor of apoptosis protein-2 (cIAP2) and increased the caspase-3 activity in HNSCC cells. In addition, elevated expression of BRF1 decreased the expression level of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) linked to a 3′ terminal AU-rich element (ARE) of cIAP2 mRNA. These findings demonstrate that BRF1 expression enhanced cisplatin sensitivity in HNSCC cells by reducing the levels of cIAP2 mRNA. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.