Etoposide-induced death comprises such nuclear events as the formation of topoisomerase II-DNA cleavable complex and cytosolic events including caspase activation. By first establishing the temporospatial death sequence triggered by etoposide in a neuronal cell line, MN9D overexpressing Bcl-XL (MN9D/Bcl-XL) or control vector (MN9D/Neo), we examined whether formation of this complex is primarily responsible for cell death and at which strategic points and how Bcl-XL blocks etoposide-induced neuronal death. Etoposide induced death that was dependent on caspase, cycloheximide, and calpain in MN9D/Neo cells. Etoposide also induced death in enucleated MN9D/Neo cells, although this was less severe. The level of topoisomerase II-DNA cleavable complex reached at a maximum of 2 hr after etoposide treatment was identical in MN9D/Neo and MN9D/Bcl-XL cells. In MN9D/Neo cells, cytochrome c release into the cytosol and caspase activation occurred as early as 2 hr and 3-6 hr after etoposide treatment, respectively. Etoposide-induced DNA laddering potentially via caspase appeared as early as 12 hr after drug treatment, followed by nuclear swelling in MN9D/Neo cells (>18-20 hr). Subsequently, nuclear condensation started by 24-28 hr and became apparent thereafter. All of these events except for nuclear swelling were substantially blocked in MN9D/Bcl-XL. At the later stage of cell death (<32-36 hr), a specific cleavage of Bax and fodrin appeared that was completely blocked by calpain inhibitor or by Bcl-XL. Taken together, our data suggest that Bcl-XL prevents etoposide-induced neuronal death by exerting its anticaspase and anticalpain effect on cellular events after the formation of topoisomerase II-DNA cleavable complex that may not be a major contributor to cell death.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience