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Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 May 15;67(10):2005-11.

Adenosine induces apoptosis in the human gastric cancer cells via an intrinsic pathway relevant to activation of AMP-activated protein kinase.

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Department of Physiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya 663-8501, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 15;70(6):968.


Extracellular adenosine significantly reduced cell viability in a dose (0.1-20mM)- and treatment time (24-72h)-dependent manner in GT3-TKB cells, a human gastric cancer cell line. Nuclei of cells were reactive to Hoechst 33342, a marker of apoptosis, and an anti-single-stranded DNA. Adenosine-induced GT3-TKB cell death was significantly inhibited by dipyridamole, an inhibitor of adenosine transporter, and 5'-amino-5'-deoxyadenosine, an inhibitor of adenosine kinase, but the effect was not affected by theophylline, a broad inhibitor of adenosine receptors, 8-cyclopentyltheophylline, an inhibitor of A(1) adenosine receptors or 3,7-dimethyl-1-propargylxanthine, an inhibitor of A(2a) adenosine receptors. Adenosine had no effect on mitochondrial membrane potentials. The effect of adenosine on GT3-TKB cell death was not inhibited by a pancaspase inhibitor or inhibitors of caspase-1,-3,-4,-8, and -9. 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR), an activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), significantly reduced GT3-TKB cell viability, but the AICAR action was not reinforced in the presence of adenosine. The results of the present study, thus, suggest that extracellular adenosine induces apoptosis in GT3-TKB cells by its uptake into cells and conversion to AMP followed by activation of AMPK, regardless of caspase activation linked to the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum.

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