Farnesol activates the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis and the ATF4-ATF3-CHOP cascade of ER stress in human T lymphoblastic leukemia Molt4 cells

Academic Article


  • In this study, we demonstrate that treatment of T lymphoblastic leukemic Molt4 cells with farnesol activates the apoptosome via the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. This induction was associated with changes in the level of intracellular potassium and calcium, the dissipation of the mitochondrial and plasma membrane potential, release of cytochrome c, activation of several caspases, and PARP cleavage. The induction of apoptosis by farnesol was inhibited by the addition of the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk and by the exogenous expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2. Analysis of the gene expression profiles by microarray analysis revealed that farnesol increased the expression of several genes related to the unfolded protein response (UPR), including CHOP and CHAC1. This induction was associated with the activation of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF3/4 cascade, but not the XBP-1 branch of the UPR. Although farnesol induced activation of the ERK1/2, p38, and JNK pathways, inhibition of these MAPKs had little effect on farnesol-induced apoptosis or the induction of UPR-related genes. Our data indicate that the induction of apoptosis in leukemic cells by farnesol is mediated through a pathway that involves activation of the apoptosome via the intrinsic pathway and induction of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF3/4 cascade in a manner that is independent of the farnesol-induced activation of MAPKs.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 10414294
  • Author List

  • Joo JH; Ueda E; Bortner CD; Yang XP; Liao G; Jetten AM
  • Start Page

  • 256
  • End Page

  • 268
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 3