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FEBS Lett. 2001 Sep 14;505(2):264-8.

Bax-dependent apoptosis induced by ceramide in HL-60 cells.

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Division of Biochemistry, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang Uuniversity, Seoul 156-756, South Korea.


Ceramide is an important lipid messenger involved in mediating a variety of cell functions including apoptosis. In this study, we show that antisense bax inhibits cytochrome c release, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase cleavage and cell death induced by ceramide in HL-60 cells. In addition, ceramide induces translocation of Bax to mitochondria. The addition of the broad spectrum caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk prevented ceramide-induced apoptotic cell death but did not inhibit translocation of Bax and mitochondrial cytochrome c release. Furthermore, ceramide inhibits the expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL with an increase in the ratio of Bax to Bcl-xL. These data provide direct evidence that Bax plays an important role in regulating ceramide-induced apoptosis.

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