Aim: To investigate the role of the mitochondrial pathway in JTE-522-induced apoptosis and to investigate the relationship between cytochrome C release, caspase activity and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsim).
Methods: Cell culture, cell counting, ELISA assay, TUNEL, flow cytometry, Western blot and fluorometric assay were employed to investigate the effect of JTE-522 on cell proliferation and apoptosis in AGS cells and related molecular mechanism.
Results: JTE-522 inhibited the growth of AGS cells and induced the apoptosis. Caspases 8 and 9 were activated during apoptosis as judged by the appearance of cleavage products from procaspase and the caspase activities to cleave specific fluorogenic substrates. To elucidate whether the activation of caspases 8 and 9 was required for the apoptosis induction, we examined the effect of caspase-specific inhibitors on apoptosis. The results showed that caspase inhibitors significantly inhibited the apoptosis induced by JTE-522. In addition, the membrane translocation of Bax and cytosolic release of cytochrome C accompanying with the decrease of the uptake of Rhodamin 123, were detected at an early stage of apoptosis. Furthermore, Bax translocation, cytochrome C release, and caspase 9 activation were blocked by Z-VAD.fmk and Z-IETD-CHO.
Conclusion: The present data indicate a crucial association between activation of caspases 8, 9, cytochrome C release, membrane translocation of Bax, loss of Deltapsim and JTE-522-induced apoptosis in AGS cells.