Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Life Sci. 2003 Jul 25;73(10):1231-43.

Involvement of hydrogen peroxide in mistletoe lectin-II-induced apoptosis of myeloleukemic U937 cells.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Medical Science, School of Medicine, Korea.


Mistletoe lectin-II, a major component of Korean mistletoe (Viscum album var. coloratum) induces apoptotic death in cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrated that lectin-II induced the generation of pro-oxidants and thus resulted in the apoptotic death of human myeloleukemic U937 cells. We observed that lectin-II-induced apoptotic death was inhibited by antioxidants including reduced glutathione (GSH), N-acetylcysteine (NAC), ebselen, mnTBP, catalase and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC). GSH and NAC also abolished the apoptotic DNA ladder pattern fragmentation of U937 cells after lectin-II stimulation. Obviously, lectin-II treatment of cells resulted in a remarkable generation of intracellular hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an early event, which was monitored fluorimetrically using scopoletin-horse radish peroxidase (HRP) assay and peroxide-sensitive fluorescent probe, DCF-DA. In addition, antioxidants inhibited the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) as well as cytosolic release of cytochrome c by mistletoe lectin-II. Moreover, lectin-II-induced activation of caspase-9 and 3-like protease and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) were inhibited by pretreatment of cells with thiol antioxidants, GSH and NAC. Taken together, these results suggest that Korean mistletoe lectin-II is a strong inducer of pro-oxidant generation such as H2O2, which mediates the JNK/SAPK activation, cytochrome c release, activation of caspase-9 and caspase 3-like protease, and PARP cleavage in human myeloleukemic U937 cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk