Pharmacology & toxicology

Induction of apoptosis by lovastatin through activation of caspase-3 and DNase II in leukaemia HL-60 cells.

PMID 10728920


Lovastatin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, was found to suppress growth and induce apoptosis in culture human promyelocytic leukaemic cell, HL-60. However, the mechanisms of lovastatin-induced apoptosis are still unclear. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the signal transduction pathway for lovastatin-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The features of this apoptosis were attenuated by the presence of mevalonate, a metabolic intermediate of cholesterol synthesis. Treatment of lovastatin caused a rapid release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into cytosol and subsequent induction of caspase-3, but not caspase-1 activity. Lovastatin also stimulated proteolytic cleavage of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and followed by the appearance of caspase activity and DNA fragmentation. Pretreatment with caspase-3 inhibitors, Ac-DEVD-CHO and Z-VAD-FMK, inhibited lovastatin induced caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that DNase II was involved in the DNA fragmentation induced by lovastatin. These results suggested that the mechanism of lovastatin induced HL-60 cells apoptosis through activation of caspase-3 and DNase II activities.