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Oral Oncol. 1999 Jul;35(4):401-8.

Induction of apoptosis in human oral squamous carcinoma cell lines by protein phosphatase inhibitors.

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First Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu, Japan.


To determine whether protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation can affect apoptosis in oral epithelial cells we examined the effects of protein phosphatase inhibitors, okadaic acid (OA) and calyculin A (CA), on cultured human oral squamous carcinoma (SCC) cell line, SCC-25 cells. After reaching subconfluence these cells were exposed to varying concentrations of the protein phosphatase inhibitors, OA and CA. Both OA and CA induced cell death in SCC-25 cells in a dose-dependent fashion as determined by phase-contrast microscopy and WST-1 cell viability assay. By using the Hoechst 33342 staining, marked nuclear condensation and fragmentation of chromatin was observed. DNA ladder formation also was detected in SCC-25 cells by treatment with OA and CA. The induced nuclear fragmentation and DNA ladder formation were dose-dependent with maximal effect at concentrations of 20 nM OA and 2 nM CA, respectively. OA also induced DNA ladder formation in other human oral SCC cell lines, SCCKN and SCCTF. To further determine if new gene transcription and protein synthesis are required for OA-induced apoptosis in SCC-25 cells, the cells were treated for 48 h with varying concentrations of cycloheximide in the presence of 20 nM OA. Cycloheximide did not protect the cells against OA-induced cytotoxicity and DNA ladder formation. Based on the known selectivity of OA and CA, the present results indicate that the pathway of the apoptosis in the cultured oral SCC cells is in part regulated by protein phosphatase type 1 and type 2A. Our results also indicate that new protein synthesis is not involved in OA-induced apoptosis in SCC-25 cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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