The Effects of 5‑Aza‑2′‑Deoxycytidine and Valproic Acid on Apoptosis Induction and Cell Growth Inhibition in Colon Cancer HT 29 Cell Line

Masumeh Sanaei, Fraidoon Kavoosi, Hamed Sahraeian


Background: Epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation and histone modification, alter gene expression without the nucleotide template alterations and are associated with all stages of tumor formation and progression. Previously, we investigated the effects of DNA demethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors on hepatocellular carcinoma and colon cancers. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of 5‑aza‑2′‑deoxycytidine (5‑AZA‑CdR, decitabine) and valproic acid (VPA), individually as well as combined on apoptosis induction and cell growth inhibition in colon cancer HT 29 cell line.

Methods: The effect of the compounds on the cell viability was measured by MTT assay. To determine cell apoptosis, the cells were treated with 5‑aza‑CdR and VPA. Propidium iodide was used for staining and the cells were analyzed using flow cytometry.

Results: Both agents decreased cell viability in a time and dose‑dependent manner significantly (P < 0.002). The results of flow cytometry demonstrated that 5‑aza‑CdR and VPA induced apoptosis significantly as opposed to control groups. Maximal percentage of apoptotic cells was obtained after 48 h with combined treatment.

Coclusions: Our findings suggest that 5‑aza‑CdR and VPA can significantly inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in colon cancer HT 29 cell line.


Apoptosis; colonic neoplasms; decitabine; valproic acid

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