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Upregulation of alpha globin promotes apoptotic cell death in the hematopoietic cell line FL5.12.

Brecht, Karin, Simonen, Marjo and Heim, Jutta (2005) Upregulation of alpha globin promotes apoptotic cell death in the hematopoietic cell line FL5.12. Apoptosis: an international journal on programmed cell death, 10 (5). pp. 1043-1062. ISSN 1360-8185


The function of alpha globin in the context of oxygen transport in erythroid cells is well described. Recently the expression of alpha globin was shown to be upregulated upon specific apoptotic stimuli like cytokine deprivation or cisplatin treatment in the hematopoietic pro-B cell line, FL5.12. In contrast to alpha globin, beta globin or globin-like genes were expressed at a very low level or were not expressed at all. Further, we found that alpha globin was not associated with heme. Apoptotic cells neither produced hemoglobin nor displayed a phenotype of cells differentiating down the erythroid lineage. Also other cell lines of variable differentiation status (NIH3T3, HeLa, K562) upregulated alpha globin during treatment with apoptosis-inducing agents. Under IL-3-deprived conditions GFP-alpha globin accelerated the progression of apoptosis comparable to GFP-Bax. GFP-alpha globin was expressed at a low level and enrichment of FL5.12 cells expressing GFP-alpha globin was difficult even in the presence of IL-3. Caspase-8, -9 and -3 as well as the proapoptotic factor Bax and cytochrome c were activated. Antisense alpha globin downregulated the expression of endogenous alpha globin und reduced caspase activity. Taken together these data indicate that alpha globin is a new and crucial factor in apoptosis especially supporting the mitochondrial pathway.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing); Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
Keywords: alpha globin; apoptosis; caspases; heme
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Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2009 13:58
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013 01:15


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