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Collective radioresistance of T47D breast carcinoma cells is mediated by a Syncytin-1 homologous protein



Collective radioresistance of T47D breast carcinoma cells is mediated by a Syncytin-1 homologous protein



Plos one 14(1): E0206713



It is generally accepted that radiotherapy must target clonogenic cells, i.e., those cells in a tumour that have self-renewing potential. Focussing on isolated clonogenic cells, however, may lead to an underestimate or even to an outright neglect of the importance of biological mechanisms that regulate tumour cell sensitivity to radiation. We develop a new statistical and experimental approach to quantify the effects of radiation on cell populations as a whole. In our experiments, we change the proximity relationships of the cells by culturing them in wells with different shapes, and we find that the radiosensitivity of T47D human breast carcinoma cells in tight clusters is different from that of isolated cells. Molecular analyses show that T47D cells express a Syncytin-1 homologous protein (SyHP). We observe that SyHP translocates to the external surface of the plasma membrane of cells killed by radiation treatment. The data support the fundamental role of SyHP in the formation of intercellular cytoplasmic bridges and in the enhanced radioresistance of surviving cells. We conclude that complex and unexpected biological mechanisms of tumour radioresistance take place at the cell population level. These mechanisms may significantly bias our estimates of the radiosensitivity of breast carcinomas in vivo and thereby affect treatment plans, and they call for further investigations.

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Accession: 066138219

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PMID: 30699112

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206713


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