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Cancer Biol Ther. 2002 Mar-Apr;1(2):113-7.

Paclitaxel-induced FasL-independent apoptosis and slow (non-apoptotic) cell death.

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Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. M_Blagosklonny@NYMC.Edu


Microtubule-active drugs, including paclitaxel (Taxol, PTX), cause mitotic arrest, and this can result in apoptosis. A recently study has reported that PTX mediates apoptosis by upregulating FasL in Jurkat and MDA-231 cells. In contrast to the previous report, we found that anti-FasL antibodies failed to inhibit PTX-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells. In MDA-231 cells, neither FasL nor PTX induced apoptosis. In these cells, PTX caused slow cell death without activation of caspase-3 or -8 or PARP cleavage. Doxorubicin at cytostatic concentrations did not affect FasL-induced apoptosis but inhibited PTX-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells. Following PTX-induced mitotic arrest Jurkat cells undergo apoptosis, whereas MDA-MB-231 cells exit mitosis and form multinucleated cells which then die in a slower non-apoptotic manner.

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