BCL-2-related protein expression in apoptosis: Oxidative stress versus serum deprivation in PC12 cells

Rosario Maroto, J. Regino Perez-Polo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    83 Scopus citations


    Expression of the BCL-2 protein family members, BAX, BAK, BAD, BCL-xL, BCL-xS, and BCL-2, was measured (by western blotting using specific antibodies) in PC12 cells before and during apoptosis induced by either H2O2 treatment or by serum deprivation and during rescue from apoptosis by nerve growth factor (NGF). H2O2-induced apoptosis, as measured by DNA fragmentation, caused: (a) a dose-dependent increase in BAX, (b) a dose- independent increase in BAK, and (c) a dose-dependent inhibition of BAD expression. By comparison, apoptosis induced by serum deprivation resulted in a time-dependent decrease in both BAX and BAK, along with a dramatic and sudden decrease in BAD expression. However, when PC12 cells were incubated in an apoptosis-sparing medium (i.e., NGF-supplemented serum-free medium), both BAX and BAK were increased significantly, whereas BAD expression remained inhibited. BCL-xL expression was increased by H2O2 but unaffected by serum deprivation or long-term NGF treatment. Neither BCL-2 nor BCL-xS expression could be detected in PC12 cells under the experimental conditions tested. Our results show that the expression of BAX, BAK, BAD, and BCL-xL is altered in a stimulus-dependent manner but cannot be used to define whether a cell will undergo or survive apoptosis. The similarity between changes in expression of BCL-2-related proteins induced by H2O2 exposure and NGF rescue could reflect activation in part of a common antioxidant pathway.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)514-523
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of neurochemistry
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Aug 1 1997


    • Apoptosis
    • BCL-2
    • Nerve growth factor
    • Oxidative stress
    • PC12 cells
    • Serum deprivation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


    Dive into the research topics of 'BCL-2-related protein expression in apoptosis: Oxidative stress versus serum deprivation in PC12 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this