Calcium-activated DNA fragmentation in rat liver nuclei

D. P. Jones, David McConkey, P. Nicotera, S. Orrenius

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Incubation of isolated rat liver nuclei with ATP, NAD+, and submicromolar Ca2+ concentrations resulted in extensive DNA hydrolysis. Half-maximal activity occurred with 200 nM Ca2+, and saturation of the process was observed with 1 μM Ca2+. ATP stimulated a calmodulin-dependent nuclear Ca2+ uptake system which apparently mediated endonuclease activation. Ca2+-activated DNA fragmentation was inhibited by the inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase, 3-aminobenzamide, and was associated with poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of nuclear protein. The characteristics of this endonuclease activity indicate that it may be responsible for the Ca2+-dependent fragmentation of DNA involved in programmed cell death (apoptosis) and in certain forms of chemically induced cell killing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6398-6403
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Jones, D. P., McConkey, D., Nicotera, P., & Orrenius, S. (1989). Calcium-activated DNA fragmentation in rat liver nuclei. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 264(11), 6398-6403.