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Lung Cancer. 2009 Feb;63(2):201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 Jun 27.

Carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone (FCCP) as an O2(*-) generator induces apoptosis via the depletion of intracellular GSH contents in Calu-6 cells.

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Department of Physiology, Medical School, Institute for Medical Sciences, Center for Healthcare Technology Development, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-180, Republic of Korea.


Carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone (FCCP) is an uncoupler of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in eukaryotic cells. Here, we investigated an involvement of O(2)(*-) and GSH in FCCP-induced Calu-6 cell death and examined whether ROS scavengers rescue cells from FCCP-induced cell death. Levels of intracellular O(2)(*-) were markedly increased depending on the concentrations (5-100 microM) of FCCP. A depletion of intracellular GSH content was also observed after exposing cells to FCCP. Stable SOD mimetics, Tempol and Tiron did not change the levels of intracellular O(2)(*-), apoptosis and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)). Treatment with thiol antioxidants, NAC and DTT, showed the recovery of GSH depletion and the reduction of O(2)(*-) levels in FCCP-treated cells, which were accompanied by the inhibition of apoptosis. In contrast, BSO, a well-known inhibitor of GSH synthesis, aggravated GSH depletion, oxidative stress of O(2)(*-) and cell death in FCCP-treated cells. Taken together, our data suggested that FCCP as an O(2)(*-) generator, induces apoptosis via the depletion of intracellular GSH contents in Calu-6 cells.

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