Bcl-2 protein plays important roles in the regulation of apoptosis. However, the exact mechanism by which Bcl-2 blocks apoptosis is still unclear. In the present study, we found that overexpression of Bcl-2 in human small cell lung carcinoma Ms-1 cells inhibited not only the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into cytosol but also de novo ceramide synthesis induced by inostamycin, a phosphatidylinositol turnover inhibitor. To investigate the correlation between the structure of Bcl-2 and its inhibitory function in inostamycin-induced apoptosis, Ms-1 cells that stably overexpress domain-deletional mutants of Bcl-2 were established. Transmembrane domain-deleted Bcl-2 failed to inhibit inostamycin-induced de novo ceramide synthesis, whereas it inhibited inostamycin-induced cytochrome c release, indicating that anchoring of Bcl-2 to membrane was a requirement for its inhibitory effect on inostamycin-induced ceramide synthesis, but not cytochrome c release. Thus, the deletion mutant of tarnsmembrane domain of Bcl-2 can suppress inostamycin-induced apoptosis by inhibiting cytochrome c release, a downstream event of ceramide synthesis in the pathway of inostamycin-induced apoptosis. We also found that the BH3 and BH4 domains of Bcl-2 were necessary for inhibition of inostamycin-induced apoptosis, and deletion of BH1 or BH2 did not affect the inhibitory effect of Bcl-2 to inostamycin-induced apoptotic events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas