Defects of the growth arrest DNA damage-inducible gene 45β (Gadd45β) play an important role in the progression of tumor and confer resistance to chemotherapy. However, the role of Gadd45β in the apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma is still not clear. Purpose of this study was to explore the effect of Gadd45β on the apoptosis of liver cancer cells, and the possible mechanism was examined.
In this study, we first confirmed the decreased expression of Gadd45β in human liver cancer tissues and human liver cancer cell lines, when compared to the peri-tumor liver tissue and normal liver cells. And, it was found that Gadd45β could inhibit the stemness of liver cancer cells, enhancing the apoptosis of cancer cells induced by chemotherapy. Furthermore, the results showed that HCC tissues and cell lines showed a higher methylation status in Gadd45β promoter than that in peri-tumor tissues and normal liver cells. Methylation was then reversed by pretreatment of SMMC-7721 and Hep-3B with 5-azacytidine which is the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor. And the 5-azacytidine decreased the stemness of SMMC-7721 and Hep-3B, enhanced the sensitivity of SMMC-7721 and Hep-3B to cisplatin.
Methylation mediated Gadd45β expression inhibited the stemness of liver cancer cells, promoting the chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. Thus Gadd45β may be the potential target for enhancing the chemosensitivity of human hepatocellular carcinoma.