Solovjeva, L. V., Pleskach, N. M., Firsanov, D. V., Svetlova, M. P., Serikov, V. B. and Tomilin, N. V. Forskolin Decreases Phosphorylation of Histone H2AX in Human Cells Induced by Ionizing Radiation. Radiat. Res. 171, 419–424 (2009).
Forskolin is a natural compound found in the coleus herb that activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase and increases the concentration of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP). This chemical is widely used as a stimulating food additive. It is unknown whether forskolin can effect cellular responses to ionizing radiation, such as induction of phosphorylation of histone H2AX (γ-H2AX) in megabase chromatin domains near DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here we report that treatment with forskolin decreases H2AX phosphorylation after irradiation detected by immunoblotting or by analysis of the overall γ-H2AX-associated fluorescence in the nuclei. However, this chemical does not affect the number of γ-H2AX foci, the frequency of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations, or cell survival after X irradiation, which is consistent with the view that it does not change the induction of repair of DSBs. We suggest that the overall decrease of H2AX phosphorylation after treatment with forskolin in irradiated cells reflects a lesser extent of apparent H2AX modification at individual DSBs that may be caused by inhibition of the initial spread of γ-H2AX and/or by stimulation of elimination of γ-H2AX from chromatin after DSB rejoining.