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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jan 25;443(2):181-6.

Proteasome inhibitors induce mitochondria-independent apoptosis in human glioma cells.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


The proteasome inhibitors lactacystin and AcLLNal induced p53-independent apoptosis in two human glioma cell lines, and the apoptosis was accompanied by up-regulation of immunoreactive wild-type p53, p21Waf1, Mdm2, and p27Kip1. Pretreatment with cycloheximide decreased the induction of cell death independently of p53 protein status, suggesting that the up-regulation of short-lived proteins is associated with proteasome inhibitor-induced apoptosis. Caspase-3-like proteases were activated in the proteasome inhibitor-mediated apoptosis, and the induction of cell death was inhibited more effectively in the presence of z-VAD.fmk than in the presence of Ac-DEVD.fmk, suggesting that caspases other than caspase-3 are involved. Nonetheless, there were no significant alterations in levels of immunoreactive Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), Bax, Bad, and Bak, nor any evidence of cytochrome c release into cytosol and dissipation of delta(psi)m. Thus, the proteasome inhibitor-induced apoptosis is mediated by a mitochondria-independent mechanism, and the once activated caspase-3 does not cause the cytochrome c release and the delta(psi)m disruption.

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