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Cell Biol Int. 2001;25(8):725-33.

Expression of BAX in cell nucleus after experimentally induced apoptosis revealed by immunogold and embedment-free electron microscopy.

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Laboratory of Cell Ultrastructure, Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


The unique combination of immunocytochemistry with embedment-free electron microscopy was applied for precise and specific localisation of BAX in the human colon adenocarcinoma COLO 205 cell line stimulated to undergo apoptosis by camptothecin (DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor). Camptothecin-induced apoptosis was associated with redistribution of BAX from cytosol to organelle membranes: mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum and via nuclear envelope pores to the nucleus, occurring within 60-180 min of cell exposure to the drug. An increase in BAX immunoreactivity on fine filaments and the lamina-pore complex of the nuclear matrix was also observed. The increase in BAX expression in the nuclear area of camptothecin-treated COLO 205 cells was confirmed by quantitative analysis using laser scanning cytometry. The subcellular translocations of BAX preceded the appearance of any morphological symptoms of apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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