Remodeling and spacing factor-1 (RSF-1) is an identified tumor biomarker that is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, but its effect on radiotherapy remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of RSF-1 siRNA on sensitizing cervical cancer cells to radiation and its underlying mechanism. The mRNA and protein expression of RSF-1 in tissue and cells were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and colony formation assay were used to examine cell proliferation. Flow cytometry was used to analyzed the cell cycle and cell apoptosis. DNA damage was examined by the comet assay. ATM, ATR, CHK1, CHK2, H2AX, γH2AX and phosphorylated ATM, ATR, CHK1 and CHK2 were detected by Western blotting. γH2AX foci were demonstrated by immunofluorescence staining. RSF-1 was upregulated in cervical cancer tissue and decreased after effective treatment. RSF-1 siRNA in combination with radiation suppressed cell viability, redistributed cell cycles and also induced cell apoptosis in HeLa and SiHa cell lines. Further, knockdown of RSF-1 induced DNA damage by attenuating DNA repair capability, thereby sensitizing cervical cancer cells to radiation. These data demonstrate that RSF-1 siRNA enhanced the sensitivity of radiotherapy, and targeting RSF-1 may be a promising approach for the development of novel radiosensitizing agents for the treatment of cervical cancer.
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