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Pyrogallol as a glutathione depletorinduces apoptosis in HeLa cells

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Pyrogallol, a polyphenol, is known to be a superoxide anion (O2·−) generator. We investigated the involvement of glutathione (GSH) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in pyrogallol-induced HeLa cell death. We measured the changes of ROS levels, GSH levels, sub-G1 cells, annexin V/PI staining cells and mitochondria membrane potential (ΔΨm) in HeLa cells treated with pyrogallol and/or ROS scavenger. The intracellular ROS levels were decreased or increased depending on the concentration of pyrogallol. The level of O2·− was significantly increased and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was down-regulated by pyrogallol. Pyrogallol reduced intracellular GSH content in HeLa cells. The ROS scavengers, Tempol, Tiron, Trimetazidine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), did not down-regulate the production of O2·−. However, treatment with NAC showed the recovery of GSH depletion and significantly rescued cells from pyrogallol-induced apoptosis. In addition, the recovery of GSH depletion by SOD and catalase was accompanied by the decrease of apoptosis levels. Furthermore, NAC and SOD significantly inhibited CMF-negative (GSH-depleted) and PI-positive cells induced by pyrogallol. Taken together, pyrogallol potently increased intracellular O2·− levels and decreased GSH content in HeLa cells, and NAC, SOD and catalase significantly rescued HeLa cells from pyrogallol-induced apoptosis accompanied by the recovery of GSH depletion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physiology, Medical School, Institute for Medical Sciences, Center for Healthcare Technology Development, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-180, Korea

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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