We investigated the role of the mitochondrial inner membrane permeability transition and subsequent release of cytochrome c into the cytosol during oxidative stress-evoked apoptosis. Sublethal oxidative stress was applied by treating L929 cells with 0.5 mM H 2 O 2 for 90 min. Then the cellular localization of cytochrome c was examined by immunofluorescent staining and Western blotting. H 2 O 2 treatment caused the permeability transition and pore formation, resulting in membrane depolarization and translocation of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Pretreatment with cyclosporin A and aristolochic acid (to inhibit pore formation) significantly attenuated a reduction of the mitochondrial membrane potential, as well as signs of apoptosis such as DNA fragmentation, increased plasma membrane permeability, and chromatin condensation. Therefore, exposure to H 2 O 2 caused the opening of permeability transition pores in the inner mitochondrial membrane. An essential role of cytosolic cytochrome c in the execution of apoptosis was demonstrated by its direct microinjection into the cytosol, thus bypassing the need for cytochrome c release from the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Microinjection of cytochrome c caused caspase-dependent apoptosis.
Experimental Cell Research – Elsevier
Published: Mar 10, 2002
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