Bcl-2 over-expression promotes genomic instability by inhibiting apoptosis of cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide.Carcinogenesis 2007; 28(10):2166-71C
The anti-apoptotic oncogene bcl-2 is hypothesized to increase the antioxidant status of cells, thereby protecting them from oxidative stress. In this study, we examined hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-mediated oxidative stress in Jurkat T lymphoma cells. Over-expression of Bcl-2 did not inhibit cytotoxicity at doses of H2O2 that caused necrosis (>200 microM), but it did block cell death at apoptotic doses (<200 microM). However, these cells exhibited the same initial level of protein and lipid oxidation following exposure to H2O2 as the parental cells, indicating that the anti-apoptotic activity is not associated with general antioxidant properties. Bcl-2 expression was able to protect against secondary protein carbonyl formation, which was linked to lysosome stabilization. Assessment of micronuclei formation in cells over-expressing Bcl-2 showed evidence of increased genomic instability, consistent with the impairment of apoptosis in damaged cells. We conclude that while Bcl-2 can block cytotoxicity associated with apoptosis-inducing levels of oxidative stress, it does not protect the cells from the stress itself. Bcl-2 may promote tumourigenesis by preventing the removal of oxidatively damaged cells.