Objective: Melanoma differentiation-associated gene 7 is a novel tumor suppressor gene that induces apoptosis in lung cancer cells when delivered by adenoviral gene transfer as Ad-mda7. The mechanisms of action are not well defined but may involve release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria with subsequent caspase activation. Methods: The lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1299 were transduced with Ad-mda7, adenovirus containing the gene for p53 (Ad-p53), and control adenoviral luciferase vectors. Staurosporine was used as a positive control to induce cytochrome c release through mitochondrial permeability transition-dependent pores, whereas cyclosporine (INN: ciclosporin) was used to specifically inhibit these mitochondrial permeability transition-dependent pores. Apoptosis was evaluated with fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of subdiploid populations and mitochondrial membrane potential changes with tetramethylrhodamine ethylester perchlorate. Results: Melanoma differentiation-associated gene 7, transduced by Ad-mda7 into H1299 and A549 lung cancer cells, resulted in sharp increases in cytosolic cytochrome c levels followed by induction of apoptosis and cellular death. The release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria occurred without changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Unlike staurosporine treatment, transduction with Ad-p53 and Ad-mda7 caused releases of cytochrome c and apoptosis that were not blocked by cyclosporine, suggesting a mitochondrial permeability transition pore-independent pathway. Conclusions: Ad-mda7 induces apoptosis in lung cancer cells through mitochondrial cytochrome c release in a process that is not dependent on mitochondrial membrane potential changes and occurs through mitochondrial permeability transition-independent pores. This unique mechanism of action may allow treatment of patients with lung cancer resistant to mitochondrial permeability transition-dependent cell death processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine