Effect of several PEO–PPO amphiphiles onbax,bcl-2, andhTERTmRNAs: An insight into apoptosis and cell immortalization induced in hepatoma cells by these polymeric excipients

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Recent data have shown that synthetic polymers and nanomaterials display phenotypic effects in cells and signal transduction mechanisms involved in inflammation, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Aim: This article aims to investigate the effect of poly(ethylene oxide)–poly(propylene oxide) (PEO–PPO) block copolymers with a wide range of biomedical and pharmaceutical applications on apoptosis and/or cell immortalization, by flow cytometry and multiplex RT-PCR for bax, bcl-2, and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). Results: PEO–PPO amphiphiles upregulated bax and hTERT and induced apoptosis of two human hepatoma cell lines. Conclusions: PEO–PPO block copolymers—considered safe for human use—can drastically alter gene expression profiles of genes related to apoptosis/cell proliferation.

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