Sodium butyrate suppresses cancer STEM cells

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:    Despite FDA attempting to demonize  Sodium Butyrate,  guess what?  It inhibits cancer STEM cells…


Sodium Butyrate Inhibits the Self-Renewal Capacity of Endometrial Tumor Side-Population Cells by Inducing a DNA Damage Response

  1. Kiyoko Kato1,    et al


We previously isolated side-population (SP) cells from a human endometrial cancer cell line, Hec1, and determined that Hec1-SP cells have cancer stem-like cell features. In this study, we isolated SP cells and non-SP (NSP) cells derived from a rat endometrial cell line expressing human [12Val] KRAS (RK12V cells) and determined the SP phenotype. RK12V-SP cells showed self-renewal capacity, the potential to develop into stromal cells, reduced expression levels of differentiation markers, long-term proliferating capacity in cultures, and enhanced tumorigenicity, indicating that RK12V-SP cells have cancer stem-like cell features. RK12V-SP cells also display higher resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.

In contrast, treatment with a histone deacetylases (HDAC) inhibitor, sodium butyrate (NaB), reduced self-renewal capacity and completely suppressed colony formation of RK12V-SP cells in a soft agar.

The levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the number of γH2AX foci were increased by NaB treatment of both RK12V-SP cells and RK12V-NSP cells. The expression levels of γH2AX, p21, p27, and phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase were enhanced in RK12V-SP cells compared with RK12V-NSP cells.

These results imply that treatment with NaB induced production of intracellular ROS and DNA damage in both RK12V-SP and RK12V-NSP cells.

Following NaB treatment, DNA damage response signals were enhanced more in RK12V-SP cells than in RK12V-NSP cells.

This is the first article on an inhibitory effect of NaB on proliferation of endometrial cancer stem-like cells.

HDAC inhibitors may represent an attractive antitumor therapy based upon their inhibitory effects on cancer stem-like cells.


Mol Cancer Ther; 10(8); 1430-9. ©2011 AACR.

  • Received November 29, 2010.
  • Revision received April 26, 2011.
  • Accepted May 24, 2011.

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