In a previous study, we showed that G3139, an antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotide that down-regulates the expression of Bcl-2 protein, did not cause chemosensitization of 518A2 melanoma cells. In this work, we show that G3139, and the 2-base mismatch, G4126, can initiate apoptosis in this and other melanoma cell lines as shown by increased cell surface Annexin V expression, typical nuclear phenotypic changes as assessed by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, activation of caspase-3 (but not caspase-8) and Bid, appearance of DEVDase (but not IETDase) activity, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase 1. Depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane occurs as a relatively late event. All of these processes seem to be substantially, but perhaps not totally, Bcl-2 independent as shown by experiments employing an anti-Bcl-2 small interfering RNA, which as shown previously down-regulated Bcl-2 protein expression but did not produce apoptosis or chemosensitization in melanoma cells. In fact, these G3139-induced molecular events were not dramatically altered in cells that forcibly overexpressed high levels of Bcl-2 protein. Addition of irreversible caspase inhibitors (e.g., the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk) to G3139-treated cells almost completely blocked cytotoxicity. Examination of the time course of the appearance of caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase 1 showed that this could be correlated with the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria, an event that begins only ∼ 4 hours after the end of the oligonucleotide/LipofectAMINE 2000 5-hour transfection period. Thus, both G3139 and cytotoxic chemotherapy activate the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in these cells, although Bcl-2 expression does not seem to contribute strongly to chemoresistance. These findings suggest that the attainment of G3139-induced chemosensitization in these cells will be difficult.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Molecular cancer therapeutics|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research