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Involvement Of Hydrogen Peroxide In Topoisomerase Inhibitor Beta-lapachone-induced Apoptosis And Differentiation In Human Leukemia Cells.

Y. P. Chau, S. Shiah, M. Don, M. L. Kuo
Published 1998 · Biology, Medicine

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Beta-Lapachone a novel topoisomerase inhibitor, has been found to induce apoptosis in various human cancer cells. In this study we report that a dramatic elevation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human leukemia HL-60 cells following 1 microM beta-lapachone treatment and that this increase was effectively inhibited by treatment with antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol. NAC strongly prevented beta-lapachone-induced apoptotic characteristics such as DNA fragmentation and apoptotic morphology. However, treatment of HL-60 cells with another topoisomerase inhibitor camptothecin (CPT) did not induce H2O2 production as compared to untreated cells. NAC also failed to block CPT-induced apoptosis. Correlated with these findings, we found that cancer cell lines K562, MCF-7, and SW620, contained high level of intracellular glutathione (GSH), were not elevated in H2O2 and were resistant to apoptosis after treatment with beta-lapachone. In contrast, cancer cell lines such as, HL-60, U937, and Molt-4 which have lower level of GSH, were readily increased of H2O2 and were sensitive to this drug. Furthermore, ectopic overexpression of Bcl-2 in HL-60 cells also attenuated beta-lapachone-induced H2O2 and conferred resistance to beta-lapachone-induced cell death. Beta-Lapachone at the concentration as low as 0.25 microM effectively induced HL-60 cells to undergo monocytic differentiation, as evidenced by CD14 antigenicity and alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase activity. Again, the beta-lapachone-induced monocytic differentiation was suppressed by NAC. These results suggest that intracellular H2O2 generation plays a crucial role in beta-lapachone-induced cell death and differentiation.
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