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Mutat Res. 2001 Sep 4;486(4):249-58.

Cisplatin-induced apoptosis in 43-3B and 27-1 cells defective in nucleotide excision repair.

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Division of Applied Toxicology, Institute of Toxicology, University of Mainz, Obere Zahlbacher Strasse 67, D-55131 Mainz, Germany.


Cisplatin is a highly potent cytotoxic and genotoxic agent used in the chemotherapy of various types of tumors. Its cytotoxic effect is supposed to be due to the induction of intra- and interstrand DNA cross-links which are repaired via the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Here, we elucidated the mechanism of cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity in mutants derived from CHO-9 cells defective in NER. We compared 43-3B and 27-1 cells deficient for ERCC1 and ERCC3, respectively, with the corresponding wild-type and ERCC1 complemented 43-3B cells. It is shown that cells defective in ERCC1 are more sensitive than cells defective in ERCC3 with regard to cisplatin-induced reproductive cell death. ERCC1 and ERCC3 mutants showed a higher frequency of apoptosis and, to a lesser degree, necrosis compared to repair proficient cells. Induction of apoptosis in both ERCC1 and ERCC3 defective cells was accompanied by decline in Bcl-2 protein level, activation of caspases 8, 9 and 3 and poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Since the mutant cells are defective in the repair of cisplatin-induced DNA lesions, the data demonstrate that non-repaired cisplatin-induced DNA adducts act as a trigger of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway by down-regulation of Bcl-2 followed by caspase activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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