Peroxiredoxin (Prdx) proteins are a family of antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative stress. The expression of these proteins has been shown to be elevated in many cancers, and recent studies have found peroxiredoxin overexpression in cancer cells lines that are resistant to chemotherapies, suggesting a role for peroxiredoxins in cancer cell progression and/or survival. This study investigated the effect of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin on K562 leukemia cells growth, viability and Prdx6 expression. We show that treatment of K562 cells with 50 nM doxorubicin for a 72-hour and 4-week period causes a decrease in cell density and viability to approximately 50%, indicating doxorubicin-resistance. We also show that Prdx6 levels are significantly elevated at the end of both treatments compared to non-treated K562 cells. These findings demonstrate doxorubicin-resistance in K562 cells and support a role for peroxiredoxins in the cellular response to doxorubicin in leukemia cells, and possibly other cancer cells.
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