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Cell Biol Int. 2017 Mar;41(3):309-319. doi: 10.1002/cbin.10727. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

β-carotene treatment alters the cellular death process in oxidative stress-induced K562 cells.

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Department of Biophysics, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Immunology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Oxidizing agents (e.g., H2 O2 ) cause structural and functional disruptions of molecules by affecting lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. As a result, cellular mechanisms related to disrupted macro molecules are affected and cell death is induced. Oxidative damage can be prevented at a certain point by antioxidants or the damage can be reversed. In this work, we studied the cellular response against oxidative stress induced by H2 O2 and antioxidant-oxidant (β-carotene-H2 O2 ) interactions in terms of time, concentration, and treatment method (pre-, co-, and post) in K562 cells. We showed that co- or post-treatment with β-carotene did not protect cells from the damage of oxidative stress furthermore co- and post-β-carotene-treated oxidative stress induced cells showed similar results with only H2 O2 treated cells. However, β-carotene pre-treatment prevented oxidative damage induced by H2 O2 at concentrations lower than 1,000 μM compared with only H2 O2 -treated and co- and post-β-carotene-treated oxidative stress-induced cells in terms of studied cellular parameters (mitochondrial membrane potential [Δψm ], cell cycle and apoptosis). Prevention effect of β-carotene pre-treatment was lost at concentrations higher than 1,000 μM H2 O2 (2-10 mM). These findings suggest that β-carotene pre-treatment alters the effects of oxidative damage induced by H2 O2 and cell death processes in K562 cells.


apoptosis; cancer; cell death; mitochondria; oxidative stress

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