Phosphorylation of Bcl-2 in G2/M phase-arrested cells following photodynamic therapy with hypericin involves a CDK1-mediated signal and delays the onset of apoptosis.
ABSTRACT The role of Bcl-2 in photodynamic therapy (PDT) is controversial, and some photosensitizers have been shown to induce Bcl-2 degradation with loss of its protective function. Hypericin is a naturally occurring photosensitizer with promising properties for the PDT of cancer. Here we show that, in HeLa cells, photoactivated hypericin does not cause Bcl-2 degradation but induces Bcl-2 phosphorylation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Bcl-2 phosphorylation is induced by sublethal PDT doses; increasing the photodynamic stress promptly leads to apoptosis, during which Bcl-2 is neither phosphorylated nor degraded. Bcl-2 phosphorylation involves mitochondrial Bcl-2 and correlates with the kinetics of a G(2)/M cell cycle arrest, preceding apoptosis. The co-localization of hypericin with alpha-tubulin and the aberrant mitotic spindles observed following sublethal PDT doses suggest that photodamage to the microtubule network provokes the G(2)/M phase arrest. PDT-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation is not altered by either the overexpression or inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal protein kinase 1 (JNK1) nor by inhibiting the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) or protein kinase C. By contrast, Bcl-2 phosphorylation is selectively suppressed by the cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK)-inhibitor roscovitine, completely blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide and enhanced by the overexpression of CDK1, suggesting a role for this pathway. However, in an in vitro kinase assay, active CDK1/cyclin B1 complex failed to phosphorylate immunoprecipitated Bcl-2, suggesting that this protein kinase may not directly modify Bcl-2. Mutation of serine-70 to alanine in Bcl-2 abolishes PDT-induced phosphorylation and restores the caspase-3 activation to the same levels of the vector-transfected cells, indicating that Bcl-2 phosphorylation may be a signal to delay apoptosis in G(2)/M phase-arrested cells.
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ABSTRACT: Hypericin is the presumed active moiety within Saint John's wort. Extracts of Saint John's wort are widely used as an effective treatment for depression. Available as "over-the-counter" drugs, they are frequently part of the self-medication of patients undergoing radiation therapy for malignant diseases. In addition to antidepressive properties, hypericin has been shown to be able to induce apoptosis and radiosensitize tumor cells, and to have antiinflammatory and phototoxic skin effects. However, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. In this study, we investigated possible inhibitory effects of hypericin on proteasome function and related pathways. Extracts from U373 human glioma cells were incubated with different concentrations of hypericin. Three proteasome activities were monitored using a fluorogenic peptide assay. Activity of the transcription factor NF-kappaB and protein levels of p65, p50, IkappaBalpha and caspase-3 were investigated by EMSA and Western blotting, respectively. Hypericin caused a dose-dependent and photoactivation-independent inhibition of proteasome function. Hypericin treatment (6.25-50 microM) inhibited NF-kappaB, caused accumulation of phosphorylated IkappaBalpha, decreased p50 protein levels and induced cleavage of p65 protein in U373 cells. These effects were observed in MCF-7 cells only at higher concentrations of hypericin (12.5-50 microM). Additionally, inhibition of NF-kappaB activity in U373 cells by hypericin was prevented by caspase inhibition. Although hypericin clearly inhibits proteasome function, its effect NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity was not exclusively proteasome-dependent. The underlying mechanism might also involve caspase activation, a consequence of proteasome inhibition.Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 06/2005; 55(5):439-46. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In photodynamic therapy (PDT) a sensitizer, light and oxygen are used to induce death of tumor cells and in the treatment of certain noncancerous conditions. Cell death in PDT may occur by apoptosis or by necrosis, depending on the sensitizer, on the PDT dose and on the cell genotype. Some sensitizers that have been used in PDT are accumulated in the mitochondria, and this may explain their efficiency in inducing apoptotic cell death, both in vitro and in vivo. In this review we will focus on the events that characterize apoptotic death in PDT and on the intracellular signaling events that are set in motion in photosensitized cells. Activation of phospholipases, changes in ceramide metabolism, a rise in the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration, stimulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), changes in protein phosphorylation and alterations in the activity of transcription factors and on gene expression have all been observed in PDT-treated cells. Although many of these metabolic reactions contribute to the demise process, some of them may antagonize cell death. Understanding the signaling mechanisms in PDT may provide means to modulate the PDT effects at the molecular level and potentiate its antitumor effectiveness.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2004; 1704(2):59-86. · 4.66 Impact Factor
Article: Enhanced antiproliferative and apoptotic response of HT-29 adenocarcinoma cells to combination of photoactivated hypericin and farnesyltransferase inhibitor manumycin A.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several photodynamically-active substances and farnesyltransferase inhibitors are currently being investigated as promising anticancer drugs. In this study, the combined effect of hypericin (the photodynamically-active pigment from Hypericum perforatum) and selective farnesyltransferase inhibitor manumycin (manumycin A; the selective farnesyltransferase inhibitor from Streptomyces parvulus) on HT-29 adenocarcinoma cells was examined. We found that the combination treatment of cells with photoactivated hypericin and manumycin resulted in enhanced antiproliferative and apoptotic response compared to the effect of single treatments. This was associated with increased suppression of clonogenic growth, S phase cell cycle arrest, elevated caspase-3/7 activity and time-dependent total cleavage of procaspase-3 and lamin B, cleavage of p21Bax into p18Bax and massive PARP cleavage. Moreover, we found that the apoptosis-inducing factor is implicated in signaling events triggered by photoactivated hypericin. Our results showed the relocalization of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) to the nuclei after hypericin treatment. In addition, we discovered that not only manumycin but also photoactivated hypericin induced the reduction of total Ras protein level. Manumycin decreased the amount of farnesylated Ras, and the combination treatment decreased the amount of both farnesylated and non-farnesylated Ras protein more dramatically. The present findings indicate that the inhibition of Ras processing may be the determining factor for enhancing the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of combination treatment on HT-29 cells.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2011; 12(12):8388-405. · 2.60 Impact Factor