We previously demonstrated that beta-lapachone (beta-lap) killed cancer cells solely by apoptosis. Beta-Lap induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells in a dose-dependent manner as measured by flow cytometry and DNA ladder formation. Cell cycle changes, such as accumulations in S and G2-phases, were not observed. Apoptosis was accompanied by activation of caspase 3 and concomitant cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) to an 89 kDa polypeptide. PARP cleavage was blocked by zDEVD-fmk or zVAD-fmk, caspase-specific cleavage site inhibitors. Retrovirally introduced bcl-2 prevented beta-lap-mediated caspase 3 activation and PARP cleavage and increased the viability of Bcl-2-expressing HL-60 cells compared to cells with vector alone. Various beta-lap-related analogs (e.g., dunnione and naphthoquinone derivatives) induced equivalent apoptosis in HL-60 cells, but no compound was more effective than beta-lap. These data provide further evidence that the primary mode of cell killing by beta-lap is by the initiation and execution of apoptosis in human cancer cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research