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Resistance to apoptosis in Leishmania infantum-infected human macrophages: a critical role for anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein and cellular IAP1/2.

Apoptosis is essential for maintaining tissue homoeostasis in multi-cellular organisms, also occurring as a defence mechanism against a number of infectious agents, such as parasites. Among intracellular protozoan parasites reported to interfere with the apoptotic machinery of the host cell, Leishmania (L.) sp. have been described, although the various species might activate different pathways in their host cells. Since until now it is not yet well clarified the signalling pathway involved in the apoptosis modulation by L. infantum, the aim of this work was to investigate the role of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2, and the inhibitors of apoptosis IAP1/2 (cIAP1/2) in cell death resistance showed in L. infantum-infected human macrophages. We observed that actinomycin D-induced apoptosis in U-937 cells, evaluated by Annexin V-CY3, DNA fragmentation and caspase-3, caspase-8, caspase-9 activation assays, was inhibited in the presence of L. infantum promastigotes and that, in these conditions, Bcl-2 protein expression resulted significantly upregulated. Interestingly, L. infantum infection in combination with the Bcl-2 inhibitor, ABT-737, significantly increased the apoptotic process in actinomycin D-treated cells, suggesting a role for Bcl-2 in the anti-apoptotic regulation of human macrophages induced by L. infantum infection. Moreover, Western blotting analysis demonstrated not only a significantly upregulation of cIAP1/2 in infected U-937 cells, but also that the inhibition of cIAPs, employing specific siRNAs, restored the apoptotic effect of actinomycin in infected macrophages. These results clearly support the hypothesis that Bcl-2 and cIAPs are strongly involved in the anti-apoptotic action played by L. infantum in human macrophages.

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An Integrin-Targeting RGDK-Tagged Nanocarrier: Anticancer Efficacy of Loaded Curcumin.

Herein we report the design and development of α5 β1 integrin-specific noncovalent RGDK-lipopeptide-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) that selectively deliver the anticancer drug curcumin to tumor cells. RGDK tetrapeptide-tagged amphiphiles were synthesized that efficiently disperse SWNTs with a suspension stability index of >80 % in cell culture media. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT)- and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-based cell viability assays in tumor (B16F10 melanoma) and noncancerous (NIH3T3 mouse fibroblast) cells revealed the non-cytotoxic nature of these RGDK-lipopeptide-SWNT conjugates. Cellular uptake experiments with monoclonal antibodies against αv β3 , αv β5 , and α5 β1 integrins showed that these SWNT nanovectors deliver their cargo (Cy3-labeled oligonucleotides, Cy3-oligo) to B16F10 cells selectively via α5 β1 integrin. Notably, the nanovectors failed to deliver the Cy3-oligo to NIH3T3 cells. The RGDK-SWNT is capable of delivering the anticancer drug curcumin to B16F10 cells more efficiently than NIH3T3 cells, leading to selective killing of B16F10 cells. Results of Annexin V binding based flow cytometry experiments are consistent with selective killing of tumor cells through the late apoptotic pathway. Biodistribution studies in melanoma (B16F10)-bearing C57BL/6J mice showed tumor-selective accumulation of curcumin intravenously administered via RGDK-lipopeptide-SWNT nanovectors.

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Cytotoxic property of surfactant-cobalt(III) complexes on a human breast cancer cell line.

The cancer chemotherapeutic potential of surfactant-cobalt(III) complexes, cis-[Co(bpy)(2)(C(14)H(29)NH(2))Cl](ClO(4))(2)·3 H(2)O (1) and cis-[Co(phen)(2)(C(14)H(29)NH(2))Cl](ClO(4))(2)·3 H(2)O (2) (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine, phen = 1,10-phenanthroline) on MCF-7 breast cancer cell was determined adopting MTT assay and specific staining techniques. The complexes affected the viability of the cells significantly and the cells succumbed to apoptosis as seen in the changes in the nuclear morphology and cytoplasmic features. Since the complex 2 appeared to be more potent, further assays were carried out on the complex 2. Single-cell electrophoresis indicated DNA damage. The translocation of phosphatidyl serine and loss of mitochondrial potential was revealed by annexin V-Cy3 staining and JC-1 staining respectively. Western blot analysis revealed up-regulation of pro-apoptotic p53 and down-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein. Taken together, the surfactant-cobalt(III) complex 2 would be a potential candidate for further investigation for application as a chemotherapeutic for cancers in general and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in particular.

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9-cis-canthaxanthin exhibits higher pro-apoptotic activity than all-trans-canthaxanthin isomer in THP-1 macrophage cells.

All-trans-canthaxanthin (4, 4'-diketo beta-carotene) but not 9-cis-canthaxanthin has been shown to induce apoptosis in some cell lines. In this study apoptotic activity of 9-cis-canthaxanthin on THP-1 macrophage is reported. Comparison of apoptotic activities of the two canthaxanthin isomers on this cell line by annexin V-cy3 and TUNEL assays indicated the higher pro-apoptotic activity of 9-cis-isomer than the all-trans-isomer. Canthaxanthin-induced apoptosis in this cell line was found to be accompanied by increased caspase-3 and caspase-8 activities, indicating its progression via caspase cascade. Induction of both caspase activities was higher by 9-cis-canthaxanthin than that by trans-canthaxanthin. All these results suggest that canthaxanthin stereoisomers differentially induce apoptosis of THP-1 monocyte/macrophage.

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Endosulfan-induced apoptosis and glutathione depletion in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells: Attenuation by N-acetylcysteine.

Present study investigated whether endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide is able to deplete glutathione (GSH) and induce apoptosis in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in vitro. The role of oxidative stress in the induction of apoptosis was also evaluated by the measurement of the GSH level in cell lysate. The protective role of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on endosulfan-induced apoptosis was also studied. Isolated human PBMC were exposed to increasing concentrations (0-100 microM) of endosulfan (alpha/beta at 70:30 mixture) alone and in combination with NAC (20 microM) up to 24 h. Apoptotic cell death was determined by Annexin-V Cy3.18 binding and DNA fragmentation assays. Cellular GSH level was measured using dithionitrobenzene. Endosulfan at low concentrations, i.e., 5 and 10 microM, did not cause significant death during 6 h/12 h incubation, whereas a concentration-dependent cell death was observed at 24 h. DNA fragmentation analysis revealed no appreciable difference between control cells and 5 microM/10 microM endosulfan treated cells, where only high molecular weight DNA band was observed. Significant ladder formation was observed at higher concentration, which is indicative of apoptotic cell death. Intracellular GSH levels decreased significantly in endosulfan-treated cells in a dose-dependent manner, showing a close correlation between oxidative stress and degree of apoptosis of PBMC. Cotreatment with NAC attenuated GSH depletion as well as apoptosis. Our results provide experimental evidence of involvement of oxidative stress in endosulfan-mediated apoptosis in human PBMC in vitro.

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