Author(s): Cho S, Dawson PE, Dawson G
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Abstract Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL) is a childhood neurodegenerative disease caused by the selective death of cortical neurons and retinal degeneration, as the result of a palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) deficiency. Recently, we showed that overexpression of PPT1 protects LA-N-5 human neuroblastoma cells against apoptotic death (Cho and Dawson [2000a] J. Neurochem. 74:1478-1488) and we now show that inhibition of PPT1 increases the susceptibility of these cells to apoptotic cell death. Transient transfection of LA-N-5 neuroblastoma cells with PPT1-FLAG resulted in a strong expression of PPT-FLAG-tagged protein as evidenced by Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence. Co-transfection of a reverse-oriented (antisense) PPT1 (AS-PPT1) decreased the expression of PPT-FLAG to almost zero, reduced PPT1 enzyme activity (as measured by an in vitro assay) and increased the susceptibility to apoptosis induced by C(2) ceramide. Similarly, inhibition of PPT1 with a synthetic inhibitor (AcG-palmitoyl diaminoproprionate-VKIKK) (DAP1) (100 microM) increased the susceptibility of the cells to apoptosis induced by either C(2)-ceramide or etoposide, a common chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of neuroblastoma. Cells stably overexpressing PPT1 were resistant to apoptosis induced by DAP1 suggesting that the inhibitor has a specific action and confirming that low levels of protein palmitoylation block the death pathway. Drugs that raise the level of protein palmitoylation are pro-apoptotic and PPT1 inhibition may enhance the killing efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents used to kill neuroblastoma-derived cells. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in J Neurosci Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology