Fas-mediated apoptosis is enhanced by glycyrrhizin without alteration of caspase-3-like activity

Biol Pharm Bull. 1999 Nov;22(11):1163-6. doi: 10.1248/bpb.22.1163.


We demonstrate that glycyrrhizin (GL) enhanced Fas-mediated apoptotic body formation and DNA fragmentation in T cell lines although GL alone did not induce apoptosis. The enhancement effect of Fas-mediated apoptosis by GL was dose-dependent above 0.3 microM. Time course study revealed that simultaneous co-treatment of GL and anti-Fas antibody was crucial for the enhancement of apoptosis and pretreatment with GL was not effective. Anti-Fas antibody elicited caspase-3-like activity. However caspase-3-like activity with co-treatment of GL and anti-Fas antibody was the same level as the antibody alone. Glycyrrhetic acid, the aglycon of GL, did not enhance Fas-mediated apoptosis. The amphipathic property of GL might enable it to interact with the plasma membrane and lead to the enhancement of apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Enzyme Precursors / metabolism*
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Jurkat Cells
  • fas Receptor / chemistry
  • fas Receptor / physiology*


  • Enzyme Precursors
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • fas Receptor
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases