Protein synthesis-dependent but Bcl-2-independent cytochrome C release in zinc depletion-induced neuronal apoptosis

Young Ho Ahn, Jae Young Koh, Seung Hwan Hong

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19 Scopus citations


Previously, we reported that chelation of intracellular zinc with N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine (TPEN)-induced macromolecule synthesis-dependent apoptosis of cultured cortical neurons. According to the current theory of apoptosis, release of mitochondrial cytochrome C into the cytosol is required for caspase activation. In the present study, we examined whether cytochrome C release is dependent on macromolecule synthesis. Exposure of cortical cultures to 2 μM TPEN for 24 hr induced apoptosis as previously described. Fluorescence immunocytochemical staining as well as immunoblots of cell extracts revealed the release of cytochrome C into the cytosol 18-20 hr after the exposure onset. The cytochrome C release was completely blocked by the addition of cycloheximide or actinomycin D. Addition of the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk did not attenuate the cytochrome C release, whereas it blocked TPEN-induced apoptosis. Because Bcl-2 has been shown to block cytochrome C release potently, we exposed human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) to TPEN. Whereas Bcl-2 overexpression completely blocked both cytochrome C release and apoptosis induced by staurosporine, it attenuated neither induced by TPEN. The present results suggest that, in neurons, macromolecule synthesis inhibitors act upstream of cytochrome C release to block apoptosis and that, in addition to the classical Bcl-2 sensitive pathway, there may exist a Bcl-2-insensitive pathway for cytochrome C release. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-514
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2000


  • Bcl-2
  • Cycloheximide
  • Cytochrome C
  • Neuronal death
  • TPEN


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