Additivity, antagonism, and synergy in arsenic trioxide-induced growth inhibition of C6 glioma cells: effects of genistein, quercetin and buthionine-sulfoximine.
The mechanism of apoptosis induced by treatment with As(2)O(3) alone or in combination with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) was studied in NB4, U937, Namalwa, and Jurkat cells. As(2)O(3) at concentrations <2 micromol/L induced apoptosis in NB4 cells and Namalwa cells but not in U937 and Jurkat cells. As(2)O(3)-induced apoptosis in NB4 cells and Namalwa cells correlated with increase of H(2)O(2) and caspase activation without activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK). BSO (10 micromol/L) depleted the reduced form of intracellular glutathione without inducing apoptosis but synergized with 1 micromol/L As(2)O(3) to induce apoptosis in all four cell lines. This synergy correlated with JNK activation. Treatment with As(2)O(3) plus BSO, but not with As(2)O(3) alone, increased the levels of death receptor (DR) 5 protein and caspase-8 cleavage. The JNK inhibitor SP600125 inhibited the increase in DR5 protein and attenuated apoptosis induced by treatment with As(2)O(3) plus BSO. These observations suggest that a DR-mediated pathway activated by JNK is involved in apoptosis induced by treatment with As(2)O(3) plus BSO.