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Arsenic trioxide triggers a regulated form of caspase-independent necrotic cell death via the mitochondrial death pathway

Item Type:Article
Title:Arsenic trioxide triggers a regulated form of caspase-independent necrotic cell death via the mitochondrial death pathway
Creators Name:Scholz, C. and Wieder, T. and Staerck, L. and Essmann, F. and Schulze-Osthoff, K. and Doerken, B. and Daniel, P.T.
Abstract:Cell death is generally believed to occur either by accidental, lytic necrosis or by programmed cell death, that is, apoptosis. The initiation and execution of cell death, however, is far more complex and includes pathways like caspase-independent apoptosis or actively triggered necrosis. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of cell death induced by arsenic trioxide (arsenite, As2O3), a clinically efficient agent in anticancer therapy. As2O3-induced cell death coincides with cytochrome c release, facilitates mitochondrial permeability transition and is sensitive to inhibition by Bcl-x(L), indicating that cell demise is regulated through the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Nevertheless, only little caspase-3 activation was observed and As2O3-induced cell death was only weakly obstructed by the broad spectrum caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk. Moreover, disruption of caspase-9 or -2 failed to decrease the amount of As2O3-mediated cell death. Interestingly, As2O3-induced cell death had a predominantly necrosis-like phenotype as assessed by Annexin-V/propidium iodide staining and LDH release. Finally, blocking glutathione synthetase by buthionine sulfoximine enhanced the As2O3-mediated necrosis-like cell death without increasing caspase-3 cleavage. As2O3 does, however, not directly inhibit caspases, but appears to interfere with caspase activation. Altogether, our data clearly delineate a mode of As2O3-triggered cell death that differs considerably from that induced by conventional anticancer drugs. These findings may explain the capability of As2O3 to efficiently kill even chemoresistant tumor cells with disturbed apoptosis signaling and caspase activation, a frequent finding in malignancy.
Keywords:Arsenic trioxide, Caspase-independence, ATP, Mitochondria, Necrosis
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Page Range:1904-1913
Date:1 January 2005
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1208233
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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