We have shown previously that mitochondrial ROS production is essential to turn growth factor (GF) removal into cell death. Activated RAF, AKT, Bcl-2 and antioxidants protected equally well against ROS accumulation and subsequent death. Here we investigated whether protection by survival signaling and antioxidants utilizes shared or distinct targets. Using serum deprivation from NIH 3T3 fibroblasts and IL-3 withdrawal from promyeloid 32D cells, we showed that pro-survival signaling by activated RAF but not AKT prevented the decline in Mcl-1 following GF abrogation. GF starvation increased levels of Bim in both model systems, which was prevented by RAF in 32D cells but not in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. RAF and AKT suppressed activation and mitochondrial translocation of BAX. Also, antioxidant treatment efficiently prevented BAX activation and death of 32D cells but showed little effect on its mitochondrial translocation. No significant impact of antioxidant treatment on Bim or Mcl-1 expression was observed. ROS produced during GF abrogation also did not alter the activity of intracellular signaling pathways, which have been implicated previously in cell killing by pro-oxidants. Together these data suggest Bcl-2 family proteins as convergence point for RAF and ROS in life and death decisions.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Apoptosis; Bcl-2 proteins; Mitochondria; RAF; Reactive oxygen species (ROS).
© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.