The Journal of biological chemistry

Mismatch repair protein deficiency compromises cisplatin-induced apoptotic signaling.

PMID 19286655


Mismatch repair (MMR) proteins participate in cytotoxicity induced by certain DNA damage-inducing agents, including cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), CDDP), a cancer chemotherapeutic drug utilized clinically to treat a variety of malignancies. MMR proteins have been demonstrated to bind to CDDP-DNA adducts and initiate MMR protein-dependent cell death in cells treated with CDDP; however, the molecular events underlying this death remain unclear. As MMR proteins have been suggested to be important in clinical responses to CDDP, a clear understanding of MMR protein-dependent, CDDP-induced cell death is critical. In this report, we demonstrate MMR protein-dependent relocalization of cytochrome c to the cytoplasm and cleavage of caspase-9, caspase-3, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase upon treatment of cells with CDDP. Chemical inhibition of caspases specifically attenuates CDDP/MMR protein-dependent cytotoxicity, suggesting that a caspase-dependent signaling mechanism is required for the execution of this cell death. p53 protein levels were up-regulated independently of MMR protein status, suggesting that p53 is not a mediator of MMR-dependent, CDDP-induced death. This work is the first indication of a required signaling mechanism in CDDP-induced, MMR protein-dependent cytotoxicity, which can be uncoupled from other CDDP response pathways, and defines a critical contribution of MMR proteins to the control of cell death.