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

Oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation in MCF-7 cells undergoing palmitate-induced apoptosis.

Oligonucleosomal fragmentation of nuclear DNA is the late-stage apoptosis hallmark. In apoptotic mammalian cells the fragmentation is catalyzed by DFF40/CAD DNase primarily activated by caspase 3 through the site-specific proteolytic cleavage of DFF45/ICAD. A deletion in the casp3 gene of human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 results in lack of procaspase 3 in these cells. The absence of caspase 3 in MCF-7 leads to disability to activate oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation in TNF-alpha induced cell death. In this study, sodium palmitate was used as an apoptotic stimulus for MCF-7. It has been shown that palmitate but not TNF-alpha induces both apoptotic changes in nuclei and oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation in casp3-mutated MCF-7. Activation and accumulation of 40-50 kD DFF40-like DNases in nuclei of palmitate-treated apoptotic MCF-7 were detected by SDS-DNA-PAGE assay. Microsomal fraction of apoptotic MCF-7 does not contain any detectable DNases, but activates 40-50 kD nucleases when incubated with human placental chromatin. Furthermore, microsomes of apoptotic MCF-7 induce oligonucleosomal fragmentation of chromatin in a cell-free system. Both the activation of DNases and chromatin fragmentation are suppressed in the presence of the caspase 3/7 inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO. Microsome-associated caspase 7 is suggested to play an essential role in the induction of oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation in casp3-deficient MCF-7 cells.[1]


  1. Oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation in MCF-7 cells undergoing palmitate-induced apoptosis. Semenov, D.V., Aronov, P.A., Kuligina, E.V., Potapenko, M.O., Richter, V.A. Biochemistry Mosc. (2003) [Pubmed]
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