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Publication Detail

Title: Mouse embryonic stem cells undergo charontosis, a novel programmed cell death pathway dependent upon cathepsins, p53, and EndoG, in response to etoposide treatment.

Authors: Tichy, Elisia D; Stephan, Zachary A; Osterburg, Andrew; Noel, Greg; Stambrook, Peter J

Published In Stem Cell Res, (2013 May)

Abstract: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are hypersensitive to many DNA damaging agents and can rapidly undergo cell death or cell differentiation following exposure. Treatment of mouse ESCs (mESCs) with etoposide (ETO), a topoisomerase II poison, followed by a recovery period resulted in massive cell death with characteristics of a programmed cell death pathway (PCD). While cell death was both caspase- and necroptosis-independent, it was partially dependent on the activity of lysosomal proteases. A role for autophagy in the cell death process was eliminated, suggesting that ETO induces a novel PCD pathway in mESCs. Inhibition of p53 either as a transcription factor by pifithrin α or in its mitochondrial role by pifithrin μ significantly reduced ESC death levels. Finally, EndoG was newly identified as a protease participating in the DNA fragmentation observed during ETO-induced PCD. We coined the term charontosis after Charon, the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology, to refer to the PCD signaling events induced by ETO in mESCs.

PubMed ID: 23500643 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic/toxicity*; Apoptosis/drug effects*; Caspases/metabolism; Cathepsins/metabolism*; Cell Line; Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology; Embryonic Stem Cells/drug effects; Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism*; Endodeoxyribonucleases/metabolism; Etoposide/toxicity*; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism*

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