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Biochem J. 1995 Nov 15;312 ( Pt 1):159-62.

Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-OH-kinase activity in the inhibition of apoptosis in haemopoietic cells: phosphatidylinositol 3-OH-kinase inhibitors reveal a difference in signalling between interleukin-3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor.

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Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Jack Bell Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


Apoptosis of haemopoietic cells can be inhibited by various cytokines, but the specific signalling pathways involved are not well defined. Interleukin (IL)-4 has unique actions since it is unable to activate p21ras or mitogen-activated protein kinase, but can activate PtdIns 3-OH-kinase (PtdIns 3-kinase), the latter effect being shared with most other cytokines. In many cases, IL-4 is able to maintain cell viability by inhibiting apoptosis, but is unable to stimulate continuous proliferation of cells. This led us to investigate the role of PtdIns 3-kinase in inhibition of apoptosis. Two potent inhibitors of PtdIns 3-kinase, wortmannin and LY294002, rapidly induced apoptosis in cells incubated in the presence of IL-4, at concentrations consistent with their ability to inhibit PtdIns 3-kinase activity in whole cells. Interestingly, the same effect was seen in cells in the presence of IL-3 and Steel factor, while cells incubated in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, and to a lesser extent, IL-5 could bypass the effect of wortmannin or LY294002. Therefore, this study suggests that PtdIns 3-kinase activity provides an important, although not a unique signal, required to inhibit apoptosis in haemopoietic cells.

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