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Cell Death Differ. 2003 May;10(5):548-57.

Apoptosis induced by Na+/H+ antiport inhibition activates the LEI/L-DNase II pathway.

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  • 1Développement, Pathologie et Vieillissement de la Rétine, INSERM U450, Association Claude Bernard, Institut Biomédical des Corderliers, 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, Paris, France.


L-DNase II is derived from its precursor leucocyte elastase inhibitor (LEI) by post-translational modification. In vitro, the conversion of LEI into L-DNase II can be induced by incubation of LEI at an acidic pH. In this study, we proposed to analyze the effects of intracellular acidification on this transformation. Amiloride derivatives, like hexamethylene amiloride (HMA), are known to provoke a decrease of cytosolic pH by inhibiting the Na(+)/H(+) antiport. In BHK cells, treatment with HMA-induced apoptosis accompanied by an increase in L-DNase II immunoreactivity and L-DNase II enzymatic activity. Overexpression of L-DNase II precursor led to a significant increase of apoptosis in these cells supporting the involvement of L-DNase II in HMA induced apoptosis. As previously shown in other cells, etoposide-induced apoptosis did not activate L-DNase. On the contrary, LEI overexpression significantly increased cell survival in etoposide-induced apoptosis. Together these results suggest differential roles of LEI and L-DNase II in response to different types of apoptotic inducers.

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