Acta Med. 2004, 47: 91-96

Depletion of Endogenous Zinc Stores Induces Oxidative Stress and Cell Death in Human Melanoma Cells

Emil Rudolf, Miroslav Červinka

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Received January 1, 2004
Accepted April 1, 2004

The role of intracellular free zinc and its chelation by TPEN (N,N,N’,N’-tetrakis(2–pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine) was studied in Bowes human melanoma cells. The content of free Zn pools was determined by fluorescent probe Zinquin. Depletion of zinc triggered apoptosis confirmed by cell blebbing, changes in mitochondrial transmembrane potential and GSH levels, caspase-3 activation and nuclear fragmentation. Apoptosis was only partially prevented by cyclosporin A or N-acetylcystein, suggesting various independent but likely interrelated mechanisms participating in this process.


This work was supported by Ministry of Education Czech Republic Research Project MSM 111500001 Serious organ failure, experimental and clinical aspects, possibilities for prevention and therapeutic management.


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