Apoptotic pathways depend on the target enzymatic activity and not on the triggering agent

F. Luchetti, A. R. Mariani, M. Columbaro, A. Di Baldassarre, C. Cinti, Elisabetta Falcieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molt-4 human leukemia cells were triggered to apoptosis by various agents with different mechanisms of action. Staurosporine, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor; camptothecin, a topoisomerase I blocking drug; and tiazofurin, an inhibitor of inosine 5'-phosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), were used. Ultrastructural analysis showed morphologic changes characteristic of apoptosis that were very similar for all three agents. Nevertheless. DNA oligonucleosomic fragmentation was not detectable by agarose gel electrophoresis. However, a genomic DNA cleavage appeared after pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) in cells treated with these agents for 24 h. Furthermore, in situ nick translation (NT) showed a finely spotted nuclear labelling in staurosporine-treated cells and a compact fluorescence after camptothecin incubation. In tiazofurin-treated cells an intermediate pattern was found. Therefore, apoptotic agents with different mechanisms of action induced the formation of large genomic DNA fragments and very similar ultrastructural changes. Therefore, both phenomena and the closely related apoptosis progression depend on target cell machinery and not on the triggering agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • DNA electrophoresis
  • Molt-4 cells
  • Nick translation
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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