GD3 ganglioside induces apoptosis in several cell types, but the molecular events through which this occurs are largely unknown. We investigated the apoptotic effects of GD3 expression using U-1242 MG glioblastoma cells, as these cells synthesize almost exclusively GM3 and GM2 but not GD3. To express GD3 under the control of the TetOn system with minimum leakage, we modified the system by constructing a single tri-cistronic retrovirus vector containing three genes separated by two internal ribosome entry sites: (a) transcriptional silencer, tTS; (b) mutant of reverse transcriptional activator, rtTA2(S)-M2 (provided by H. Bujard, Heidelberg, Germany); and (c) enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), as an indicator of the tri-cistronic gene expression. Using flow cytometry, we selected glioma cells (U1242MG-GD3 clone) that express high levels of GD3 in response to doxycycline. Expression of GD3 was associated with apoptosis as verified by annexin-V binding, TdT-mediated dUTPnick end-labelling assay (TUNEL)q2, and EGFP degradation. GD3-induced apoptosis occurred via caspase-8 activation, as GD3 caused cleavage of caspase-8 and inhibition of caspase-8 activation by zlETD-fmk minimized GD3-induced apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience