Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of leukemia cells induced by L-asparaginase

Leukemia. 1997 Nov;11(11):1858-61. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2400834.


Apoptotic cell death of murine leukemia cells induced by E. coli L-asparaginase was studied. Deprivation of L-asparagine from the culture of L5178Y cells by L-asparaginase caused the fragmentation of chromosomal DNA of the leukemia cells within 24 h. Prior to the degradation of DNA, cell cycles of L5178Y cells were found to be arrested in G1 phase, and evidence of the DNA strand breaks was initially observed in G1 phase cells as early as 8 h after the asparaginase treatment. Therefore, apoptosis of leukemia cells induced by L-asparaginase is an event that is associated with the cell cycle arrest in G1 phase.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis* / genetics
  • Asparaginase / pharmacology*
  • Cell Count / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • DNA Damage / genetics*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Flow Cytometry
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • G2 Phase / drug effects
  • Leukemia L5178 / genetics*
  • Leukemia L5178 / pathology
  • Mice
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Asparaginase