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Cell Death Differ. 2004 Jun;11(6):608-17.

Hydrogen peroxide produced by Aplysia ink toxin kills tumor cells independent of apoptosis via peroxiredoxin I sensitive pathways.

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Institut fuer Oekotoxikologie und Biochemie der Freien Universit├Ąt Berlin, Ehrenbergstr. 26-28, Berlin, Germany.


Marine snails of the genus Aplysia possess numerous bioactive substances. We have purified a 60 kDa protein, APIT (Aplysia punctata ink toxin), from the defensive ink of A. punctata that triggers cell death with profound tumor specificity. Tumor cell death induced by APIT is independent of apoptosis but is characterized by the rapid loss of metabolic activity, membrane permeabilization, and shrinkage of nuclei. Proteome analysis of APIT-treated tumor cells indicated a modification of peroxiredoxin I, a cytoplasmic peroxidase involved in the detoxification of peroxides. Interestingly, knockdown of peroxiredoxin I expression by RNA interference sensitized cells for APIT-induced cell death. APIT induced the death of tumor cells via the enzymatic production of H2O2 and catalase completely blocked APITs' activity. Our data suggest that H2O2 induced stress and the modulation of peroxiredoxins might be a promising approach for tumor therapy.

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