Characterization of the Cell Death Process Induced by Staurosporine in Human Neuroblastoma Cell Lines
Llecha Cano, Núria
Yuste Mateos, Víctor J. (Víctor José)
Comella i Carnicé, Joan Xavier
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Staurosporine is a potent and non-specific inhibitor of protein kinases. There is also evidence of staurosporine being a potent inducer of apoptosis. In several human neuroblastoma cell lines (SH-SY5Y, NB69, IMR-5 and IMR-32) we have found 100 nM staurosporine to induce cell death in half the population (EC50). Electron microscopy of these cells, fluorescence microscopy after Hoechst-33258 staining of chromatin and agarose-electrophoresis of DNA, show two different types of cell death. SH-SY5Y and NB69 die by apoptosis and display all the characteristic features of it. IMR-5 and IMR-32 lack some of these features and a ladder pattern of DNA degradation is not found. Different morphological types of apoptosis have been described during the development of vertebrates; the possibility of finding a similar diversity in cell culture is suggested. On the other hand, staurosporine is a potent promoter of neurite outgrowth. In all the neuroblastoma cell lines we have tested, neurite-promoting and cell death-inducing staurosporine concentrations mostly overlap. This fact has not been reported before, probably because of an early versus late timing of these two different phenomena. The neuritogenic effect has prompted the suggestion that staurosporine could be a prototype of drugs for neurodegenerative diseases; the present study raises several concerns about such a proposal.