Doxorubicin induces cell senescence preferentially over apoptosis in the FU-SY-1 synovial sarcoma cell line

David E. Joyner, Jeffrey D. Bastar, R Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Surgical resection coupled with adjuvant radiotherapy and/or doxorubicin based chemotherapy are the mainstays of synovial sarcoma (SS) treatment. Although effective as a SS adjuvant, the proposed mechanism of action of doxorubicin remains controversial. Current opinion supports DNA damage-induced apoptosis. This in vitro study used cDNA gene expression profiling to investigate whether apoptosis, alone or in combination with cell senescence, is induced by doxorubicin in SS cells. Cell cultures of the FU-SY-1 SS, the pleomorphic SW982 sarcoma, and a primary dermal fibroblast (NHDF), were exposed to 500 nM doxorubicin, and then processed for cDNA microarray analysis. The one class response option of SAM (Significance Analysis of Microarrays) was used to test for significant overexpression of 15 apoptosis-related genes and nine senescence-related genes. Drug-induced cell senescence was quantified by measuring β-galactosidase activity. None of 15 apoptosis-related genes and only two of nine senescence-related genes were identified by SAM as significantly overexpressed in doxorubicin-treated cultures. Drug-induced senescence as reflected by β-galactosidase activity was significantly increased (p < 0.05) only in FU-SY-1 SS cultures. Apoptosis does not appear to be a major determinant of doxorubicin-induced mortality in FU-SY-1 SS or NHDF cultures, but may impact SW982 cells via the overexpression of BAX relative to Bcl-2. Doxorubicin-induced cell senescence was prominent in FU-SY-1 SS cultures, but negligible in SW982 and NHDF cultures. Likely, both apoptosis and cell senescence contribute to doxorubicin-induced cell death in this synovial sarcoma cell line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1169
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Doxorubicin
  • In vitro
  • Senescene
  • Synovial sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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