Sanna, Bastiano and Debidda, Marcella and Pintus, Gianfranco and Tadolini, Bruna and Posadino, Anna Maria and Bennardini, Federico and Sava, Gianni and Ventura, Carlo (2002) The Anti-metastatic agent imidazolium trans-imidazoledimethylsulfoxide-tetrachlororuthenate induces endothelial cell apoptosis by inhibiting the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Vol. 403 (2), p. 209-218. ISSN 0003-9861. Article.
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Imidazolium trans-imidazoledimethylsulfoxide-tetrachlororuthenate (NAMI-A) is a new ruthenium compound active against lung metastasis in vivo and tumor cell invasion in vitro. Since angiogenesis was recognized as a key event in the metastasizing process, the manipulation of neo-vessel formation has been developed as a new therapeutic approach. Within this context, a pivotal role for apoptosis in regulating cellular growth has been proposed. In the present study, we exposed to NAMI-A the spontaneously transformed human endothelial cell line ECV304 and assessed a number of apoptosis-related features, including the DNA degradation rate, the activation of caspase-3 protease, the expression of Hsp27, and the release of cytochrome c. Cell treatment with NAMI-A elicited a significant increment in the apoptotic response, as indicated by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation, two classical hallmarks of cellular suicide. Furthermore, NAMI-A was able to down-regulate Hsp27 protein expression and provoke the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c in the cytosol. Here, we analyze the involvement of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal transduction pathway in the induction of apoptosis elicited by NAMI-A. Such a response was associated with a marked inhibition of MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) and ERK phosphorylation with a time course and dose dependency overlapping those observed throughout NAMI-A-induced apoptosis. In addition, we report that PD98059, a selective MEK inhibitor, is able to induce apoptosis by itself in the ECV304 cell line. These results suggest that inhibition of MEK/ERK signaling by NAMI-A may have an important role in modulating an apoptotic event in ECV304.
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