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Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Jun;74(3):256-61.

Activation of a caspase-dependent oxidative damage response mediates TGFbeta1 apoptosis in rat hepatocytes.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7461, USA.


Activation of transforming growth factor-beta type 1- (TGFbeta1) mediated signaling occurs in response to cell injury affecting stem-type cells and hepatocytes in liver. In this work we used WB stemlike liver epithelial cells and p53-defective CWSV-1 nontumorigenic rat hepatocytes to investigate the possible roles of caspases and oxidative stress in TGFbeta1 signaling. TGFbeta1 significantly increased the level of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE), a stable product of lipid peroxidation. In addition, TGFbeta1-treated cells exhibited activation of caspases that accompanied by enhanced cleavage of the caspase substrate poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP) and induction of apoptosis. WB cells were twice as sensitive as sensitive as CWSV-1 cells to induction of TGFbeta1 apoptosis. TGFbeta1-apoptosis was significantly reduced when cells were treated with TGFbeta1 in the presence of inhibitors of caspase-1, -3, -8, and -9. Importantly, in addition to suppression of apoptosis, treatment of cells with the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK in the presence of TGFbeta1 suppressed the formation 4-HNE and restored mitotic activity. Together, these data suggest TGFbeta1 induces activation of a caspase signaling cascade that includes an oxidative damage response, PARP cleavage, and apoptosis that do not require intact p53 in rat hepatocytes.

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