The Biochemical journal

Induction of apoptosis by lipophilic activators of CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase alpha (CCTalpha).

PMID 16097951


Farnesol (FOH) inhibits the CDP-choline pathway for PtdCho (phosphatidylcholine) synthesis, an activity that is involved in subsequent induction of apoptosis. Interestingly, the rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, CCTalpha (CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase alpha), is rapidly activated, cleaved by caspases and exported from the nucleus during FOH-induced apoptosis. The purpose of the present study was to determine how CCTalpha activity and PtdCho synthesis contributed to induction of apoptosis by FOH and oleyl alcohol. Contrary to previous reports, we show that the initial effect of FOH and oleyl alcohol was a rapid (10-30 min) and transient activation of PtdCho synthesis. During this period, the mass of DAG (diacylglycerol) decreased by 40%, indicating that subsequent CDP-choline accumulation and inhibition of PtdCho synthesis could be due to substrate depletion. At later time points (>1 h), FOH and oleyl alcohol promoted caspase cleavage and nuclear export of CCTalpha, which was prevented by treatment with oleate or DiC8 (dioctanoylglycerol). Protection from FOH-induced apoptosis required CCTalpha activity and PtdCho synthesis since (i) DiC8 and oleate restored PtdCho synthesis, but not endogenous DAG levels, and (ii) partial resistance was conferred by stable overexpression of CCTalpha and increased PtdCho synthesis in CCTalpha-deficient MT58 cells. These results show that DAG depletion by FOH or oleyl alcohol could be involved in inhibition of PtdCho synthesis. However, decreased DAG was not sufficient to induce apoptosis provided nuclear CCTalpha and PtdCho syntheses were sustained.

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Oleyl alcohol, ≥99% (GC)
Oleyl alcohol, technical grade, 85%