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Induction of caspase-dependent and -independent apoptosis in response to methionine restriction

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Tumor cells are more sensitive to methionine restriction than normal tissues, a phenomenon known as methionine auxotrophy. Previous studies have demonstrated that methionine restriction causes tumor cell growth arrest and eventually apoptosis. The current studies were undertaken to elucidate the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis induced by methionine restriction. We found that methionine restriction induced formation of oligonucleosomal DNA fragment and cytochrome c release from mitochondria in methionine-dependent PC3 and Hela cells. Methionine restriction also led to cleavage and activation of initiator and effector caspases in Hela cells but not PC3 cells. Furthermore, methionine restriction resulted in cleavage of BID and reduction in Bcl-2 levels in both cell lines. These data suggest that apoptosis induced by methionine restriction is mitochondria-dependent. Methionine restriction induced caspase-independent cell death in PC3 cells, whereas it stimulated caspase-dependent cell death in Hela cells. Cleavage of BID and decreased expression of Bcl-2 upon methionine deprivation may be the underlying mechanism to stimulate release of cytochrome c from mitochondria.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine and VA Medical Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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