Role of mitochondria in aspirin-induced apoptosis in human gastric epithelial cells.Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2005 Oct; 289(4):G731-8.AJ
This study was undertaken to determine whether the Bcl-2 family proteins and Smac are regulators of aspirin-mediated apoptosis in a gastric mucosal cell line known as AGS cells. Cells were incubated with varying concentrations of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA; 2-40 mM), with or without preincubation of caspase inhibitors. Apoptosis was characterized by Hoechst staining and DNA-histone-associated complex formation. Antiapoptotic Bcl-2, proapoptotic Bax and Bid, Smac, and cytochrome-c oxidase (COX IV) were analyzed by Western blot analyses from cytosol and mitochondrial fractions. ASA downregulated Bcl-2 protein expression and induced Bax translocation into the mitochondria and cleavage of Bid. In contrast, expression of Smac was significantly decreased in mitochondrial fractions of ASA-treated cells. Bax and Bid involvement in apoptosis regulation was dependent on caspase activation, because caspase-8 inhibition suppressed Bax translocation and Bid processing. Caspase-9 inhibition prevented Smac release from mitochondria. Additionally, increased expression of the oxidative phosphorylation enzyme COX IV was observed in mitochondrial fractions exposed to ASA at concentrations >5 mM. Although caspase-8 inhibition had no effect on aspirin-induced apoptosis and DNA-histone complex formation, caspase-9 inhibition significantly decreased both of these events. We conclude that Bcl-2 protein family members and Smac regulate the apoptotic pathway in a caspase-dependent manner. Our results indicate also that mitochondrial integration and oxidative phosphorylation play a critical role in the pathogenesis of apoptosis in human gastric epithelial cells.