JOURNAL ARTICLE

Taxol induces paraptosis independent of both protein synthesis and MAPK pathway

Qingrui Sun, Tongsheng Chen, Xiaoping Wang, Xunbin Wei
Journal of Cellular Physiology 2010, 222 (2): 421-32
19918793
Our recent studies have shown that high concentration of taxol induced a caspase-independent paraptosis-like cell death and cytoplasmic vacuolization derived predominantly from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) swelling in human lung carcinoma cell lines (ASTC-a-1). In this report, we further explored the relationship between taxol-induced cell death and vacuolization, and the roles of protein synthesis, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MEK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and P38 in taxol-induced paraptosis. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was used to probe the cell morphological change, while ER-targeted red fluorescent protein (er-RFP) was used to probe ER spatial distribution. Real-time monitoring of the ER swelling dynamics during the formation of vacuolization inside single living cells co-expressing EGFP and er-RFP further demonstrated that taxol-induced cytoplasmic vacuolization was from the ER restructuring due to fusion and swelling. PI staining showed that taxol-induced vacuolization was not necrosis. These results further demonstrated that the taxol-induced cell death was neither apoptosis nor necrosis, and fitted the criteria of paraptosis characterized by cytoplasmic vacuolization, caspase-independence, lack of apoptotic morphology and insensitivity to broad caspase inhibitor. Our data further indicated that taxol-induced paraptosis required neither protein synthesis nor the participation of MEK, JNK, and P38, which was different from the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGFIR)-induced paraptosis. These results suggest that high concentration of taxol activates an alternative paraptotic cell death pathway.

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