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

Apoptotic signaling in polyamine analogue-treated SK-MEL-28 human melanoma cells.

N(1),N(11)-Diethylnorspermine (DENSPM) is a polyamine analogue with clinicalrelevance as an experimental anticancer agent and the ability to elicit a profound apoptotic response in certain cell types. Here, we characterize the polyamine effects and apoptotic signaling events initiated by treatment of SK-MEL-28 human melanoma with 10 microM DENSPM. Maximal induction of the polyamine catabolic enzyme spermidine/spermine N(1)-acetyltransferase (SSAT) and polyamine pool depletion were seen by 16 h, whereas early apoptosis was first apparent at 36 h. Intermediate events related to apoptotic signaling were sought between 16 and 36 h. A loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Deltapsi(m)) beginning at 24 h was followed by the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol at 30 h. Loss of mitochondrial integrity was accompanied by caspase-3 activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase digestion from 30 to 36 h. The caspase inhibitor Z-Asp-2,6-dichlorobenzoyloxymethylketone rendered cells resistant to analogue-induced caspase-3 activation and reduced the apoptotic response in a dose-dependent manner. Because polyamine reduction achieved by inhibitors of polyamine biosynthesis inhibited growth but did not cause apoptosis, we looked for alternative polyamine-related events, focusing on induction of SSAT. Three DENSPM analogues that differentially induced SSAT activity but similarly depleted polyamine pools revealed a close correlation between enzyme induction and cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Dose-dependent inhibition of polyamine oxidase, an enzyme that oxidizes acetylated polyamines generated by SSAT and releases toxic by-products such as H(2)O(2) and aldehydes, prevented cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Taken together, the findings indicate that DENSPM-induced apoptosis is at least partially initiated via massive induction of SSAT and related oxidative events and subsequently mediated by the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway as indicated by cytochrome c release and caspase activation.[1]


  1. Apoptotic signaling in polyamine analogue-treated SK-MEL-28 human melanoma cells. Chen, Y., Kramer, D.L., Diegelman, P., Vujcic, S., Porter, C.W. Cancer Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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