Cancer cells are metabolically altered cells characterized by higher glucose uptake. Understanding cancer cells is vital in cancer therapy. We aimed to analyze glucose starvation effect on cell viability parameters in healthy (BEAS2B) and cancer (A549) cells. We analyzed mTOR, p21, caspase3, beclin1, ATG12 mRNA levels in cells after 8h and 24h starvations. We also counted senescent cells poststarvation. Starvation decreased cell viability in both cell types whereas prolonged starvation kept reducing cell viability just in A549 cells. Along with elevated p21 mRNA levels, we detected more senescent cells in A549 than in BEAS2B after starvation. Increased mTOR expression supported senescence profile in cancer cells at 8hourstarvation unlike healthy cells. Autophagy marker expression increased afterstarvation in both cell lines except reduction in BEAS2B cells after 8hstarvation. Caspase3 expression did not change in BEAS2B cells while increased in A549 cells at 8hourstarvation. As to 24hourstarvation, caspase3 was upregulated in both cells, however, it was higher in cancer cells compared to healthy cells. We suggest that cell viability parameters of healthy and cancer cells were negatively affected by prolonging glucose starvation. Our results demonstrated that glucose starvation had more negative effects on cancer cells than healthy cells.
Keywords: apoptosis, autophagy, cancer cell, cell viability, glucose starvation, senescence