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FEBS Lett. 1998 Jun 16;429(3):351-5.

Cytochrome c release and caspase activation in hydrogen peroxide- and tributyltin-induced apoptosis.

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  • 1Institute of Environmental Medicine, Division of Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Erratum in

  • FEBS Lett 1998 Oct 16;437(1-2):163.


The ability of H2O2 and tributyltin (TBT) to trigger pro-caspase activation via export of cytochrome c from mitochondria to the cytoplasm was investigated. Treatment of Jurkat T lymphocytes with H2O2 resulted in the appearance of cytochrome c in the cytosol within 2 h. This was at least 1 h before caspase activation was observed. TBT caused cytochrome c release already after 5 min, followed by caspase activation within 1 h. Measurement of mitochondrial membrane potential (delta psi(m)) showed that both H2O2 and TBT dissipated delta psi(m), but with different time courses. TBT caused a concomitant loss of delta psi(m) and release of cytochrome c, whereas cytochrome c release and caspase activation preceded any apparent delta psi(m) loss in H2O2-treated cells. Thus, our results suggest that different mechanisms are involved in triggering cytochrome c release with these apoptosis-inducing agents.

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