Visualizing cell-cycle kinetics after hypoxia/reoxygenation in HeLa cells expressing fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator (Fucci)

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Abstract

Hypoxia induces G1 arrest in many cancer cell types. Tumor cells are often exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation, especially under acute hypoxic conditions in vivo. In this study, we investigated cell-cycle kinetics and clonogenic survival after hypoxia/reoxygenation in HeLa cells expressing fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator (Fucci). Hypoxic treatment halted cell-cycle progression during mid-S to G2 phase, as determined by the cell cycle–regulated E3 ligase activities of SCFSkp2 and APC/CCdh1, which are regulators of the Fucci probes; however, the DNA content of the arrested cells was equivalent to that in G1 phase. After reoxygenation, time-lapse imaging and DNA content analysis revealed that all cells reached G2 phase, and that Fucci fluorescence was distinctly separated into two fractions 24 h after reoxygenation: red cells that released from G2 arrest after repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) exhibited higher clonogenic survival, whereas most cells that stayed green contained many DSBs and exhibited lower survival. We conclude that hypoxia disrupts coordination of DNA synthesis and E3 ligase activities associated with cell-cycle progression, and that DSB repair could greatly influence cell-cycle kinetics and clonogenic survival after hypoxia/reoxygenation.

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