Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.272, No.3, 674-680, 2000
Synergistic induction of apoptosis in murine hepatoma Hepa1-6 cells by IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha
In this study, we examined the susceptibility of murine hepatoma Hepa1-6 cells to undergo IFN-gamma- and/or TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. IFN-gamma or TNF-alpha alone had no demonstrable cytotoxic effects, whereas IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in combination induced apoptosis drastically in Hepa1-6 cells. During this apoptosis, an increase in caspase-3- and -8-like protease activities and activation of caspase-3, identified by the appearance of its p17 fragment, were observed. Moreover, the cytotoxic induction and caspase-3 activation were effectively inhibited by Z-Asp-CH2-DCB (Z-Asp), a caspase inhibitor. Further, an elevation of cytochrome c in the cytosol, in a parallel to activation of caspase-3, was observed in a time-dependent manner. Concurrently, up-regulation of caspase-11 gene expression and processing of procaspase-11 were detected during this apoptosis. These results suggest that the caspase-3 activation, the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, and increased caspase-11 gene expression involve in synergistic induction of apoptosis in Hepa1-6 cells by IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha.