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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 9460462, 18 pages
Research Article

The Protective Roles of ROS-Mediated Mitophagy on 125I Seeds Radiation Induced Cell Death in HCT116 Cells

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Peking University 3rd Hospital, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China
2School of Medicine, Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan 232001, Anhui, China
3State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Received 17 September 2016; Revised 18 November 2016; Accepted 24 November 2016

Academic Editor: Sander Bekeschus

Copyright © 2016 Lelin Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For many unresectable carcinomas and locally recurrent cancers (LRC), 125I seeds brachytherapy is a feasible, effective, and safe treatment. Several studies have shown that 125I seeds radiation exerts anticancer activity by triggering DNA damage. However, recent evidence shows mitochondrial quality to be another crucial determinant of cell fate, with mitophagy playing a central role in this control mechanism. Herein, we found that 125I seeds irradiation injured mitochondria, leading to significantly elevated mitochondrial and intracellular ROS (reactive oxygen species) levels in HCT116 cells. The accumulation of mitochondrial ROS increased the expression of HIF-1α and its target genes BINP3 and NIX (BINP3L), which subsequently triggered mitophagy. Importantly, 125I seeds radiation induced mitophagy promoted cells survival and protected HCT116 cells from apoptosis. These results collectively indicated that 125I seeds radiation triggered mitophagy by upregulating the level of ROS to promote cellular homeostasis and survival. The present study uncovered the critical role of mitophagy in modulating the sensitivity of tumor cells to radiation therapy and suggested that chemotherapy targeting on mitophagy might improve the efficiency of 125I seeds radiation treatment, which might be of clinical significance in tumor therapy.