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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1995;121(12):729-38.

Induction of apoptosis in cultured retinoblastoma cells by the protein phosphatase inhibitor, okadaic acid.

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Pharmacology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


The induction of apoptosis in cultured retinoblastoma cells by diverse drugs was examined by analyzing DNA fragmentation, a hallmark of apoptosis. First, the ability of six retinoblastoma cell lines to undergo apoptosis was surveyed using etoposide (30 micrograms/ml, 20 h exposure). The NCC-RbC-60 cell line, established in this laboratory showed DNA fragmentation clearly, whereas the other cell lines tested, including the representative retinoblastoma cell line, Y-79, did not show distinct DNA fragmentation. Biochemical modulators, such as A23187, forskolin, retinoic acid, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and okadaic acid, were examined to ascertain whether they could induce apoptosis in NCC-RbC-60 and Y-79 cells after exposure for 20 h. Only okadaic acid induced DNA fragmentation in all the retinoblastoma cell lines tested and it induced DNA fragmentation in Y-79 cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Flow-cytometric analysis and microscopic examination revealed that Y-79 cells treated with okadaic acid for 24-48 h accumulated at the G2/M, especially M, phases, before undergoing DNA fragmentation. Other mitotic poisons, nocodazole, colcemid and taxol, also induced apoptosis in Y-79 cells. In the K1034 cell line, established from non-malignant retinal pigmented epithelium, okadaic acid failed to induce both G2/M arrest and DNA fragmentation. These findings suggest that okadaic-acid-induced apoptosis occurs as a result of metaphase arrest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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