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J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 12;278(37):35693-701. Epub 2003 Jun 24.

Inhibition of c-Myc oncoprotein limits the growth of human melanoma cells by inducing cellular crisis.

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1
Experimental Chemotherapy Laboratory, Centro di Ricerca Sperimentale, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, 00158 Rome, Italy. biroccio@ifo.it

Abstract

Here, we show that inhibition of c-Myc causes a proliferative arrest of M14 melanoma cells through cellular crisis, evident by the increase in size, multiple nuclei, vacuolated cytoplasm, induction of senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity and massive apoptosis. The c-Myc-induced crisis is associated with decreased human telomerase reverse transcriptase expression, telomerase activity, progressive telomere shortening, glutathione (GSH), depletion and, increased production of reactive oxygen species. Treatment of control cells with L-buthionine sulfoximine decreases GSH to levels of c-Myc low expressing cells, but it does not modify the growth kinetic of the cells. Surprisingly, when GSH is increased in the c-Myc low expressing cells by treatment with N-acetyl-L-cysteine, cells escape crisis. To test the hypothesis that both oxidative stress and telomerase dysfunction are involved in the c-Myc-dependent crisis, we directly inhibited telomerase function and glutathione levels. Inactivation of telomerase, by expression of a catalytically inactive, dominant negative form of reverse transcriptase, reduces cellular lifespan by inducing telomere shortening. Treatment of cells with L-buthionine sulfoximine decreases GSH content and accelerates cell crisis. Analysis of telomere status demonstrated that oxidative stress affects c-Myc-induced crisis by increasing telomere dysfunction. Our results demonstrate that inhibition of c-Myc oncoprotein induces cellular crisis through cooperation between telomerase dysfunction and oxidative stress.

PMID:
12824159
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M304597200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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