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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nuclear factor-kappaB activation by the photochemotherapeutic agent verteporfin.

The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) gene transactivator serves in the formation of immune, inflammatory, and stress responses. In quiescent cells, NF-kappaB principally resides within the cytoplasm in association with inhibitory kappa (IkappaB) proteins. The status of IkappaB and NF-kappaB proteins was evaluated for promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells treated at different intensities of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The action of the potent photosensitizer, benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A (verteporfin), and visible light irradiation were assessed. At a verteporfin concentration that produced the death of a high proportion of cells after light irradiation, evidence of caspase-3 and caspase-9 processing and of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage was present within whole cell lysates. The general caspase inhibitor Z-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (ZVAD.fmk) effectively blocked these apoptosis-related changes. Recent studies indicate that IkappaB proteins may be caspase substrates during apoptosis. However, the level of IkappaBbeta was unchanged for HL-60 cells undergoing PDT-induced apoptosis. IkappaBalpha levels decreased during PDT-induced apoptosis, though ZVAD.fmk did not affect this change. At a less intensive level of photosensitization, cellular IkappaBalpha levels were transiently depressed after PDT. At these times, p50 and RelA NF-kappaB species were increased within nuclear extracts, as revealed by electrophoretic mobility supershift assays. HL-60 cells transiently transfected with a kappaB-luciferase reporter construct exhibited elevated luciferase activity after PDT or treatment with tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a well-characterized NF-kappaB activator. Productive NF-kappaB activation and associated gene transcription may influence the phenotype and behavior of cells exposed to less intensive PDT regimens. However, IkappaBalpha is not subject to caspase-mediated degradation as a component of PDT-induced apoptosis. (Blood. 2000;95:256-262)[1]


  1. Nuclear factor-kappaB activation by the photochemotherapeutic agent verteporfin. Granville, D.J., Carthy, C.M., Jiang, H., Levy, J.G., McManus, B.M., Matroule, J.Y., Piette, J., Hunt, D.W. Blood (2000) [Pubmed]
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