Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Apoptosis induced by etoposide (VP-16) in HL-60 cells was confirmed to be caspase-dependent. It was fully inhibited by the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk. However, the caspase-3-specific inhibitor Z-DEVD-fmk only partially inhibited apoptosis. This indicated that a second caspase is required in vivo for full activation of the apoptotic nucease CAD. Aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA) did not inhibit VP-16-induced apoptosis. In contrast, apoptosis induced by hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in HL-60 cells was caspase-3 independent and was fully inhibited by ATA. Thus, CAD does not appear to be involved in chromatin DNA degradation in this case. A second apoptotic nuclease is postulated to degrade the DNA, likely endo-exonuclease, an abundant nuclear enzyme that acts on both DNA and RNA and is present in latent form. HCQ, but not VP-16, stimulated DNA degradation (“laddering”) in isolated nuclei. This indicates that the drug can act directly in the nuclei to trigger activation of the second latent apoptotic nuclease.
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