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BMB Rep. 2008 Feb 29;41(2):119-25.

Cytotoxic activity and probable apoptotic effect of Sph2, a sphigomyelinase hemolysin from Leptospira interrogans strain Lai.

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School of Life Science and Biopharmaceuticals, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University Shenyang, China.


Our previous work confirmed that Sph2/LA1029 was a sphigomyelinase-like hemolyisn of Leptospira interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar Lai. Characteristics of both hemolytic and cytotoxic activities of Sph2 were reported in this paper. Sph2 was a heat-labile neutral hemolysin and had similar hemolytic behavior as the typical sphingomyelinase C of Staphylococcus aureus upon sheep erythrocytes. The cytotoxic activity of Sph2 was shown in mammalian cells such as BALB/C mouse lymphocytes and macrophages, as well as human L-02 liver cells. Transmission electron microscopic observation showed that the Sph2 treated BALB/C mouse lymphocytes were swollen and ruptured with membrane breakage. They also demonstrated condensed chromatin as a high-density area. Cytoskeleton changes were observed via fluorescence confocal microscope in Sph2 treated BALB/C mouse lymphocytes and macrophages, where both cytokine IL-1beta and IL-6 were induced. In addition, typical apoptotic morphological features were observed in Sph2 treated L-02 cells via transmission electron microscope and the percentage of apoptotic cells did increase after the Sph2 treatment detected by flow cytometry. Therefore, Sph2 was likely an apoptosis-inducing factor of human L-02 liver cells.

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