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Mol Pharmacol. 1995 Apr;47(4):757-65.

Nitric oxide-induced apoptosis in RAW 264.7 macrophages is antagonized by protein kinase C- and protein kinase A-activating compounds.

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University of Konstanz, Faculty of Biology, Germany.


Endogenously generated or exogenously applied nitric oxide (NO) redox species induce apoptotic cell death in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Activation of the inducible NO synthase by incubation of cells with a combination of lipopolysaccharide and interferon-gamma produced internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and morphological alterations, i.e., chromatin condensation, indicative of apoptotic cell death. These alterations, reflecting the production of NO, were prevented by an inhibitor of NO synthase, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine. Moreover, NO derived from endogenous or exogenous sources caused accumulation of the tumor suppressor gene p53. Proposing a link between NO generation and DNA fragmentation, we investigated interfering biochemical signaling pathways. Therefore, we tested the ability of four NO-releasing compounds [sodium nitroprusside (SNP), 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1), S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), and S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO)] to cause specific DNA fragmentation. All NO donors induced DNA fragmentation in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. However, substance-specific differences became obvious. After an 8-hr incubation period, GSNO proved to be the strongest apoptotic inducer, whereas SIN-1 was much less active. Apoptosis was rapid with GSNO and SNP, yielding specific DNA fragments after 4 hr and 5 hr, respectively. In contrast, SNAP and SIN-1 produced DNA fragmentation after considerable lag times of 9 hr and 14 hr, respectively. Furthermore, an inhibitory effect of protein kinase C (PKC) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase became apparent. 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, an activator of PKC, inhibited DNA fragmentation by all four NO donors, whereas PKC inhibitors such as staurosporine and calphostin C sensitized macrophages to apoptosis induced by SNP and GSNO. Lipophilic cAMP analogues suppressed SNP-, SIN-1, and SNAP-induced DNA fragmentation. Thus, our study suggests the existence of specific down-modulatory mechanisms related to NO-induced apoptotic DNA fragmentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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