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Leukemia. 1996 Nov;10(11):1731-40.

Intracellular metabolism of Ara-C and resulting DNA fragmentation and apoptosis of human AML HL-60 cells possessing disparate levels of Bcl-2 protein.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.


We examined the effects of high intracellular levels of Bcl-2 on the metabolism and DNA incorporation of high-dose Ara-C (HIDAC) as well as on Ara-C-induced DNA strand breaks and apoptosis of human AML HL-60 cells. HL-60/Bcl-2 and HL-60/neo cells were created by retrovirally transfecting the human AML HL-60 cells with the pZip-bcl-2 and pZip-neo plasmids, respectively. As compared to HL-60/neo, HL-60/Bcl-2 cells contained significantly higher (approximately 10-fold) p26Bcl-2, but equivalent levels of Bax and undetectable levels of Bcl-xL. HIDAC (10 or 100 microM for 4 h) produced the kilobase size and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation associated with apoptosis in HL-60/neo but not in HL-60/Bcl-2 cells. Significantly greater loss of survival (by MTT assay) and flowcytometric and morphologically recognizable apoptosis were observed in HL-60/neo cells. HIDAC did not affect Bcl-2 levels in either cell type. The intracellular accumulation of Ara-CTP relative to dCTP, Ara-C DNA incorporation and Ara-C-induced early DNA damage in the form of strand breaks (detected by alkaline elution assay) were not significantly different between HL-60/Bcl-2 and HL-60/neo cells. In addition, HIDAC treatment caused similar DNA synthesis inhibition in the two cell types. These results indicate that high intracellular levels of Bcl-2 operate distally to inhibit the final apototic cell death pathway by preventing the conversion of HIDAC-induced early DNA damage into lethal DNA fragmentation associated with apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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