Caffeine-increased radiosensitivity is not dependent on a loss of G2/M arrest or apoptosis in bladder cancer cell lines

J.C.C. Ribeiro, A.R. Barnetson, P. Jackson, K. Ow, M. Links, P.J. Russell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Bladder cancer cell lines UCRU-BL-13, UCRU-BL-17/2 and UCRU-BL-28, with differing p53 status and molecular responses to irradiation, were used to investigate possible mechanisms for caffeine-induced radiosensitization.

Materials and methods:
After treatment with caffeine and exposure to X-radiation, radiosensitivity was determined by clonogenic assay. Cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry.

Both BL-13 and BL-28 cells (each expressing p53 with a wild-type sequence) fail to arrest at the G2 checkpoint after radiation, but nevertheless caffeine did induce radiosensitization. In contrast, in BL-17/2 cells (expressing p53 with a point mutation in codon 280), caffeine treatment abrogated the radiation-induced G2 arrest but was not accompanied by radiosensitization. No effects on radiosensitivity were seen in RT112 cells (expressing a functionally defective p53) at low caffeine doses (2 mM), but at higher doses (4 mM and 10 mM) caffeine caused both abrogation of radiation-induced G2 arrest and radiosensitization. In none of the cell lines examined did caffeine treatment and/or irradiation result in apoptosis.

In contrast with previous studies, the data suggest that radiosensitization induced by caffeine is not dependent on abrogation of G2 arrest or the induction of apoptosis, and is not selective for cells expressing p53 proteins with mutations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-492
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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