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

Induction of apoptosis by esculetin in human leukemia cells.

Esculetin, a coumarin compound, has been shown to exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In the present study, esculetin was found to inhibit the survival of human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells in a concentration-dependent and time-dependent manner. HL-60 cells underwent internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and morphological changes characteristic of apoptosis after a 24-h treatment with esculetin (100 microM). Flow cytometric analysis showed that the hypodiploid nuclei of HL-60 cells were increased to 40.93% after a 36-h treatment with esculetin (100 microM). Further investigation showed that esculetin induced the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into cytosol in a time-dependent and concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, esculetin application reduced Bcl-2 protein expression to 58% after 9 h as compared with that time at 0. Cysteine protease 32 kDa proenzyme (CPP32), a caspase 3, was activated and its substrate, poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase, was cleaved after a 24-h treatment of HL-60 cells with esculetin. These data suggest that esculetin induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells by increasing cytosolic translocation of cytochrome c and activation of CPP32.[1]


  1. Induction of apoptosis by esculetin in human leukemia cells. Chu, C.Y., Tsai, Y.Y., Wang, C.J., Lin, W.L., Tseng, T.H. Eur. J. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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