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

Non-apoptotic programmed cell death induced by a copper(II) complex in human fibrosarcoma cells.

A(0), a Cu(II) thioxotriazole complex, produces severe cytotoxic effects on HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells with a potency comparable to that exhibited by cisplatin. A(0) induced a characteristic series of changes, hallmarked by the formation of eosin- and Sudan Black-B-negative vacuoles. No evidence of nuclear fragmentation or caspase-3 activation was detected in cells treated with A(0) which, rather, inhibited cisplatin-stimulated caspase-3 activity. Membrane functional integrity, assessed with calcein and propidium iodide, was spared until the late stages of the death process induced by the copper complex. Vacuoles were negative to the autophagy marker monodansylcadaverine and their formation was not blocked by 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor of autophagic processes. Negativity to the extracellular marker pyranine excluded vacuole derivation from the extracellular fluid. Ultrastructural analysis indicated that A(0) caused the appearance of many electronlight cytoplasmic vesicles, possibly related to the endoplasmic reticulum, which progressively enlarge and coalesce to form large vacuolar structures that eventually fill the cytoplasm. It is concluded that A(0 )triggers a non-apoptotic, type 3B programmed cell death (Clarke in Anat Embryol (Berl) 181:195-213, 1990), characterized by an extensive cytoplasmic vacuolization. This peculiar cytotoxicity pattern may render the employment of A(0) to be of particular interest in apoptosis-resistant cell models.[1]


  1. Non-apoptotic programmed cell death induced by a copper(II) complex in human fibrosarcoma cells. Tardito, S., Bussolati, O., Gaccioli, F., Gatti, R., Guizzardi, S., Uggeri, J., Marchiò, L., Lanfranchi, M., Franchi-Gazzola, R. Histochem. Cell Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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