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FEBS Lett. 1997 Nov 17;417(3):360-4.

Doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in human T-cell leukemia is mediated by caspase-3 activation in a Fas-independent way.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biologia Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain.


It has recently been proposed that doxorubicin (DOX) can induce apoptosis in human T-leukemia cells via the Fas/FasL system in an autocrine/paracrine way. We show here that treatment of Jurkat cells with either anti-Fas antibodies, anthracyclin drugs or actinomycin D induces the activation of CPP32 (caspase-3) and apoptosis. However, DOX treatment did not induce the expression of membrane FasL or the release of soluble FasL and co-incubation with blocking anti-Fas antibodies prevented Fas-induced but not DOX-induced apoptosis. All the morphological and biochemical signs of apoptosis induced by anti-Fas or DOX can be prevented by Z-VAD-fmk, a general caspase inhibitor. DEVD-cho, a specific inhibitor of CPP32-like caspases which completely blocks Fas-mediated apoptosis, prevented drug-induced nuclear apoptosis but not cell death. We conclude that: (i) DOX-induced apoptosis in human T-leukemia/lymphoma is Fas-independent and (ii) caspase-3 is responsible of DOX-induced nuclear apoptosis but other Z-VAD-sensitive caspases are implicated in cell death.

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