Cephalostatin 1 is a bis-steroidal marine natural product with a unique cytotoxicity profile in the in vitro screen system of the National Cancer Institute, suggesting that it may affect novel molecular target(s). Here we show that cephalostatin 1 induces a novel pathway of receptor-independent apoptosis that selectively uses Smac/DIABLO (second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases/direct inhibitor of apoptosis-binding protein with a low isoelectric point) as a mitochondrial signaling molecule. At nanomolar concentrations, cephalostatin 1 triggers dose- and time-dependent DNA fragmentation in leukemia Jurkat T cells. Apoptosis was found to be dependent on caspase activity because the pan-caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp(OMe)-fluoromethylketone blocks cephalostatin 1-mediated DNA fragmentation. The CD95 death receptor as well as other caspase-8-requiring death receptors were not involved because Jurkat T cells lacking the CD95 receptor or caspase-8 and control cells responded equally to cephalostatin 1. Although cephalostatin 1 affects mitochondria by dissipating the mitochondrial membrane potential, neither cytochrome c nor apoptosis-inducing factor is released, as shown by Western blot analysis. Interestingly, cephalostatin 1 selectively triggers the mitochondrial release of the inhibitor of apoptosis antagonist Smac/DIABLO. Overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL delayed both Smac/DIABLO release and onset of apoptosis, suggesting that Smac/DIABLO is required for cephalostatin 1-induced apoptosis. This new mitochondrial pathway is accompanied by marked structural changes of mitochondria as shown by transmission electron microscopy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Dec 15 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research