Hydrogen Peroxide Promotes the Production of Radiation-Derived EVs Containing Mitochondrial Proteins

Caitlin E. Miller, Fangfang Xu, Yanming Zhao, Wei Luo, Weixiong Zhong, Kristy Meyer, Rani Jayswal, Heidi L. Weiss, William H. St. Clair, Daret K. St. Clair, Luksana Chaiswing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In spite of extensive successes, cancer recurrence after radiation treatment (RT) remains one of the significant challenges in the cure of localized prostate cancer (PCa). This study focuses on elucidating a novel adaptive response to RT that could contribute to cancer recurrence. Here, we used PC3 cell line, an adenocarcinoma from a bone metastasis and radio-resistant clone 695 cell line, which survived after total radiation dose of 66 Gy (2 Gy × 33) and subsequently regrew in nude mice after exposure to fractionated radiation at 10 Gy (2 Gy × 5). Clone 695 cells not only showed an increase in surviving fraction post-radiation but also an increase in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production when compared to PC3 cells. At the single cell level, confocal microscope images coupled with IMARIS rendering software demonstrate an increase in mitochondrial mass and membrane potential in clone 695 cells. Utilizing the Seahorse XF96 instrument to investigate mitochondrial respiration, clone 695 cells demonstrated a higher basal Oxygen Consumption Rate (OCR), ATP-linked OCR, and proton leak compared to PC3 cells. The elevation of mitochondrial function in clone 695 cells is accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial H2O2 production. These data suggest that H2O2 could reprogram PCa’s mitochondrial homeostasis, which allows the cancer to survive and regrow after RT. Upon exposure to RT, in addition to ROS production, we found that RT induces the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from PC3 cells (p < 0.05). Importantly, adding H2O2 to PC3 cells promotes EVs production in a dose-dependent manner and pre-treatment with polyethylene glycol-Catalase mitigates H2O2-mediated EV production. Both RT-derived EVs and H2O2-derived EVs carried higher levels of mitochondrial antioxidant proteins including, Peroxiredoxin 3, Glutathione Peroxidase 4 as well as mitochondrial-associated oxidative phosphorylation proteins. Significantly, adding isolated functional mitochondria 24 h prior to RT shows a significant increase in surviving fractions of PC3 cells (p < 0.05). Together, our findings reveal that H2O2 promotes the production of EVs carrying mitochondrial proteins and that functional mitochondria enhance cancer survival after RT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2119
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • extracellular vesicles
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • mitochondria
  • radiation resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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