9-O-acetylated GD3 triggers programmed cell death in mature erythrocytes.

Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032, India.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.41). 11/2007; 362(3):651-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.08.048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An acetylated modification of a tumor-associated ganglioside GD3 (9-O-AcGD3) is expressed in certain tumors and present during early stages of development in different tissues. However, the status and the role of 9-O-AcGD3 in the erythroid progenitor cells remain unexplored. Here, we report the level of 9-O-AcGD3 during erythropoiesis in bone marrow is down regulated during maturation. Signaling via 9-O-AcGD3 induces alteration of morphology and membrane characteristics of mature erythrocytes. This process also induces, a cell death program in these erythrocytes even in the absence of nucleus, mitochondria and other cell organelles sharing features of apoptosis in nucleated cells like membrane alterations, vesicularization, phosphatidyl serine exposure, activation of cysteine proteases like caspase-3. This is the first report of a programmed cell death pathway in mature erythrocytes, triggered by 9-O-AcGD3 contrary to their anti-apoptotic role in lymphoblasts, which suggests a cell specific role of this O-acetyl ester of GD3.

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