Paclitaxel induces apoptosis in Saos-2 cells with CD95L upregulation and Bcl-2 phosphorylation

Bruna Pucci, Lorenza Bellincampi, Marco Tafani, Valeria Masciullo, Gerry Melino, Antonio Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We examined the effect of paclitaxel on human osteoblastic cells Saos-2 to determine if paclitaxel can affect, proliferation and apoptosis. We used a p53-negative cell line in order to mimic the loss of function frequently observed at the clinical level. Paclitaxel induced cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Marked nuclear condensation and fragmentation of chromatin were observed by Hoechst 33258 stain, DNA ladder formation, electron microscopy, and flow cytometry at concentrations as low as 100 nM, a concentration which can be achieved by infusion in human plasma. At 100 nM, paclitaxel induced a G2 arrest at 8 h of treatment. The cells then continued to accumulate in G2 until 72 h when the percentage of apoptotic events reached 54%. At the molecular level, Bcl-2 protein was phosphorylated at 16 h and PARP protein was cleaved, indicating the activation of caspase-3-like proteases. Caspase inhibitors Z-VAD-FMK and Z-DEVD-FMK rescued Saos-2 cells from paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. CD95 expression was constantly high, while CD95L showed a threefold increase in expression. This suggests that, following the G2 arrest, apoptosis is induced through the CD95/CD95L system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 1999



  • Apoptosis
  • CD95°Bcl-2
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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