SDH5 depletion enhances radiosensitivity by regulating p53: A new method for noninvasive prediction of radiotherapy response

Yan Zong, Qianwen Li, Furong Zhang, Xunde Xian, Sihua Wang, Jiahong Xia, Jie Li, Zhan Tuo, Guangqin Xiao, Li Liu, Guiling Li, Sheng Zhang, Gang Wu, Jun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for lung cancer but lacks a reliable prediction method. Cell-free nucleic acids in plasma have been reported as a novel tumor marker. Here, we evaluate circulating succinate dehydrogenase 5 (SDH5) mRNA in plasma and SDH5 protein in tumors, assess their predictive value in lung cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, and explore the underlying mechanisms. Methods: SDH5 expression was measured in peripheral blood samples and fresh tumor specimens from 208 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and correlated with clinical outcomes. SDH5 knockout mice and human xenograft mice were used to evaluate radiosensitivity. Cell growth, apoptosis, and the DNA damage response were assessed. Relevant RNA and protein levels were analyzed by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. Immunoprecipitation and GST pulldown assays were performed to detect protein-protein interactions. Polyubiquitination of p53 was examined by an in vitro ubiquitination assay. Results: Plasma and tumor SDH5 mRNA levels were positively correlated (rho=0.894, P<0.001). Patients with relatively low SDH5 levels in plasma (0.47, 0.12-0.89) and tumors (3.85, 0.96-7.23) had a better prognosis after radiotherapy (median PFS: 30.0 versus 15.0 months, hazard ratio: 0.276, 95% CI: 0.201–0.379, P<0.001). In SDH5 knockout mice, the lung epithelial cells exhibited increased DNA damage after radiation. In human lung xenograft mice, SDH5-deficient tumors had a smaller volume after radiotherapy. Furthermore, SDH5 depletion inhibits p53 degradation via the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway, which promotes apoptosis and enhances radiosensitivity in NSCLC. Conclusion: Our findings provide a novel noninvasive method for prediction of response to radiotherapy and may have significant implications for cancer radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6380-6395
Number of pages16
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2019


  • Apoptosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Noninvasive
  • P53
  • Prediction
  • Radiotherapy
  • SDH5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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