Involvement of p38 MAPK- and JNK-modulated expression of Bcl-2 and Bax in Naja nigricollis CMS-9-induced apoptosis of human leukemia K562 cells

Ying-Jung Chen, Wen-Hsin Liu, Pei-Hsiu Kao, Jeh-Jeng Wang, Long-Sen Chang
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2010 June 15, 55 (7): 1306-16
CMS-9, a phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) isolated from Naja nigricollis venom, induced apoptosis of human leukemia K562 cells, characterized by mitochondrial depolarization, modulation of Bcl-2 family members, cytochrome c release and activation of caspases 9 and 3. Moreover, an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was noted. Pretreatment with BAPTA-AM (Ca2+ chelator) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC, ROS scavenger) proved that Ca2+ was an upstream event in inducing ROS generation. Upon exposure to CMS-9, activation of p38 MAPK and JNK was observed in K562 cells. BAPTA-AM or NAC abrogated CMS-9-elicited p38 MAPK and JNK activation, and rescued viability of CMS-9-treated K562 cells. SB202190 (p38 MAPK inhibitor) and SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) suppressed CMS-9-induced dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential, Bcl-2 down-regulation, Bax up-regulation and increased mitochondrial translocation of Bax. Inactivation of PLA(2) activity reduced drastically the cytotoxicity of CMS-9, and a combination of lysophosphatidylcholine and stearic acid mimicked the cytotoxic effects of CMS-9. Taken together, our data suggest that CMS-9-induced apoptosis of K562 cells is catalytic activity-dependent and is mediated through mitochondria-mediated death pathway triggered by Ca2+/ROS-evoked p38 MAPK and JNK activation.

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