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J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 18;286(46):39823-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.262725. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Intracellular K+ concentration decrease is not obligatory for apoptosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology, Campus Norrköping, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

K(+) efflux is observed as an early event in the apoptotic process in various cell types. Loss of intracellular K(+) and subsequent reduction in ionic strength are suggested to release the inhibition of proapoptotic caspases. In this work, a new K(+)-specific microelectrode was used to study possible alterations in intracellular K(+) in Xenopus laevis oocytes during chemically induced apoptosis. The accuracy of the microelectrode to detect changes in intracellular K(+) was verified with parallel electrophysiological measurements. In concordance with previous studies on other cell types, apoptotic stimuli reduced the intracellular K(+) concentration in Xenopus oocytes and increased caspase-3 activity. The reduction in intracellular K(+) was prevented by dense expression of voltage-gated K (Kv) channels. Despite this, the caspase-3 activity was increased similarly in Kv channel-expressing oocytes as in oocytes not expressing Kv channels. Thus, in Xenopus oocytes caspase-3 activity is not dependent on the intracellular concentration of K(+).

PMID:
21949184
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3220575
Free PMC Article

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