Etoposide Induces Mitochondria-Associated Apoptotic Cell Death in Human Gastric Carcinoma Cells
Recent observations indicate that the resistance of apoptosis is an important process of tumor metastasis and metastases are the cause of 90% of human cancer death. Etoposide, a semisynthetic derivative of the podophyllotoxins, is a clinically used anti-cancer reagent, but the effects of it on metastatic gastric carcinoma cells are totally unknown. In this study, etoposide induced apoptotic cell death in human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line SGC-7901, derived from metastatic lymph nodes, as evidenced by the analysis of DNA fragmentation, apoptotic body formation, caspase activation, and apoptosis specific changes in cell morphology is demonstrated. The depolarization of mitochondrial membrane and the release of cytochrome c were most early events in etoposide treated SGC-7901 cells, and were followed by caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage. Caspase-8 activation was not detected under the same condition. Thus, it was proposed that etoposide induces caspase-associated apoptotic cell death in human metastatic gastric carcinoma, which is initiated by mitochondrial cytochrome c release.