Recent evidence suggests that untimely retinoblastoma protein (RB) dephosphorylation and/or proteolytic degradation might provide key events down-stream cysteine protease (caspase) activation in apoptosis induction. We have dealt with this issue by studying apoptosis induced by N-hexanoylsphingosine (C6-Cer) in CHP-100 human neuroepithelioma cells, maintained in complete growth medium. We report that C6-Cer-induced apoptosis occurred predominantly in G1/S phases of the cycle and was associated with RB dephosphorylation, in the setting of negligible Bcl-2 expression. Apoptosis was also associated with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, thus indicating activation of CPP32/Yama/apopain (caspase-3); however, while the tripeptide caspase inhibitor Z-Val-Ala-DL-Asp-fluoromethhylketone was able to prevent both C6-Cer-induced PARP cleavage and apoptosis, it was ineffective in preventing RB dephosphorylation. Moreover proteolytic RB cleavage occurred only to a marginal extent after C6-Cer treatment. These results indicate that apoptosis induced by ceramide in CHP-100 cells is caspase-mediated, but RB post-translational modification does not provide a key step, downstream caspase activation, in apoptosis execution.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 24 1998|
- Retinoblastoma protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology