Induction of apoptosis by disturbing mitochondrial-membrane potential and cleaving PARP in Jurkat T cells through treatment with acetoxyscirpenol mycotoxins

Dong Hee Lee, Taesun Park, Ha Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Paecilomyces tenuipes is a famous Chinese medicinal entomopathogenic fungus that grows within the larvae of silkworms. 4β-acetoxyscirpendiol (4-MAS), a cytotoxic compound belonging to the scirpenol subfamily of trichothecene mycotoxin, was isolated from Paecilomyces tenuipes. To further elucidate the cytotoxic mechanism of 4-MAS, evidences of its induction of apoptosis, together with the structurally related acetoxyscirpenol moiety mycotoxins (ASMs) such as, 15-acetoxyscirpenol (15-MAS), 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol (4,15-DAS), and 3α-acetyldiacetoxyscirpenol (TAS), in the human Jurkat T cell line were reported herein. In the MTT reduction and time-course cytotoxicity assays for monitoring cell viability, all the four ASMs that were tested exhibited cytotoxicity; single acetoxylation at C-4 of the scirpenol family resulted in relatively weak cytotoxicity, while acetoxylation at C-15 resulted in strong cytotoxicity regardless of the other acetoxylations at the C-3 and/or C-4 positions. Phosphatidylserine externalization was induced by all the ASMs that were treated at an early phase in a time-dependent manner, showing a typical apoptotic phenomenon, not a necrotic one. The ASMs also reduced the mitochondria's inner-membrane potential (ΔΨm) through flow cytometry analysis after staining these with DiOC6, a mitochondria-specific and voltage-dependent dye. Acetoxylation of ASM at C-15 increased ΔΨm disruption, but that at C-3 reduced the ΔΨm. The ASMs that were tested also cleaved 113 kDa PARP to an 89-kDa fragment through Western blot assay, suggesting the activation of caspase-3 and/or caspase-7 in the Jurkat T cell. DNA fragmentation was also observed to have been increased in a time-dependent manner by the ASMs that were tested in Jurkat T cells, resulting in the DNA fragmentation intensity order of 4,15-DAS>15-MAS>TAS>4-MAS. These data indicate that the Jurkat T cells that were treated with ASMs underwent typical cascades of apoptotic cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-654
Number of pages7
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetoxyscirpenol
  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential
  • Paecilomyces tenuipes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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