Bcl-2 inhibits apoptosis induced by mitochondrial uncoupling but does not prevent mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization EXPERIMENTAL CELL RESEARCH Armstrong, J. S., Steinauer, K. K., French, J., Killoran, P. L., Walleczek, J., Kochanski, J., Knox, S. J. 2001; 262 (2): 170-179


Bcl-2 overexpression protects cells from apoptosis induced by many cytotoxic agents. In this study, we investigated the effects of uncoupling mitochondrial electron transport in both HL60 wild-type and Bcl-2-overexpressing cells using the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone. We found that uncoupling mitochondrial electron transport induced apoptosis in wild-type, but not in Bcl-2-overexpressing cells. To investigate the mechanism of action of Bcl-2-mediated inhibition of cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone-induced apoptosis, we measured the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) after uncoupling mitochondrial electron transport and found that both HL-60 wild-type and Bcl-2-overexpressing cells similarly depolarize following cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone exposure. Western blot analysis demonstrated that Bcl-2 overexpression did not completely block cytochrome c release from mitochondria after uncoupling mitochondrial electron transport. Since Bcl-2 may act as an antioxidant, we studied the effect of altering the cellular redox state prior to uncoupling mitochondrial electron transport in Bcl-2-overexpressing cells. Depletion of mitochondrial (but not cytosolic) glutathione induced apoptosis in Bcl-2-overexpressing cells and negated the protective effect of Bcl-2. Furthermore, following glutathione depletion, Bcl-2-overexpressing cells were sensitized to undergo cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone-induced apoptosis. These data suggest that the action of Bcl-2 is dependent, in part, on the cellular and mitochondrial redox state.

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View details for PubMedID 11139341