RBBP6: A potential biomarker of apoptosis induction in human cervical cancer cell lines

Pontsho Moela, Lesetja Raymond Motadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Overexpression of RBBP6 in cancers of the colon, lung, and esophagus makes it a potential target in anticancer therapy. This is especially important because RBBP6 associates with the tumor suppressor gene p53, the inactivation of which has been linked to over 50% of all cancer types. However, the expression of RBBP6 in cancer and its interaction with p53 are yet to be understood in order to determine whether or not RBBP6 is cancer promoting and therefore a potential biomarker. In this study, we manipulated RBBP6 expression levels followed by treatment with either camptothecin or γ-aminobutyric acid in cervical cancer cells to induce apoptosis or cell cycle arrest. We began by staining human cervical cancer tissue sections with anti-RBBP6 monoclonal antibody to evaluate the extent of expression of RBBP6 in patients’ specimens. We followed on with silencing the overexpression of RBBP6 and treatment with anticancer agents to evaluate how the specimens respond to combinational therapy. Apoptosis induction was evaluated through confocal microscope, and flow cytometry using annexin V staining, and also by checking the mitochondrial and caspase-3/7 activity. Cell cycle arrest was evaluated using flow cytometry through staining with propidium iodide. RBBP6 was highly expressed in cervical cancer tissue sections that were in stage II or III of development. Silencing RBBP6 followed by treatment with γ-aminobutyric acid and camptothecin seems to sensitize cells to apoptosis induction rather than cell cycle arrest. Overexpression of RBBP6 seems to promote S-phase in cell cycle and cell proliferation. These results predict a proliferative role of RBBP6 in cancer progression rather than as a cancer-causing gene. Furthermore, sensitization of cells to camptothecin-induced apoptosis by RBBP6 targeting suggests a promising tool for halting cervical cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4721-4735
Number of pages15
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Camptothecin
  • GABA
  • Overexpression
  • Silencing
  • XCELLigence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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