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J Neurochem. 2009 Jan;108(2):397-407. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05774.x. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

The mechanisms of oxidative DNA damage and apoptosis induced by norsalsolinol, an endogenous tetrahydroisoquinoline derivative associated with Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Molecular Medicine, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Edobashi 2-174, Tsu, Mie, Japan.


Tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ) derivatives are putative neurotoxins that may contribute to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. One TIQ, norsalsolinol (NorSAL), is present in dopamine-rich areas of human brain, including the substantia nigra. Here, we demonstrate that NorSAL reduces cell viability and induces apoptosis via cytochrome c release and caspase 3 activation in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Cytochrome c release, caspase 3 activation, and apoptosis induction were all inhibited by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. Thus, reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to apoptosis induced by NorSAL. Treatment with NorSAL also increased levels of oxidative damage to DNA, a stimulus for apoptosis, in SH-SY5Y. To clarify the mechanism of intracellular DNA damage, we examined the DNA damage caused by NorSAL using (32)P-5'-end-labeled isolated DNA fragments. NorSAL induced DNA damage in the presence of Cu(II). Catalase and bathocuproine, a Cu(I) chelator, inhibited this DNA damage, suggesting that ROS such as the Cu(I)-hydroperoxo complex derived from the reaction of H(2)O(2) with Cu(I), promote DNA damage by NorSAL. In summary, NorSAL-generated ROS induced oxidative DNA damage, which led to caspase-dependent apoptosis in neuronal cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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