Chromatin condensation during apoptosis requires ATP

Kass, John Eriksson, Weis, Orrenius, Chow

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    The processes leading to morphological changes of the chromatin in cells that undergo apoptosis are presently unclear. We have recently shown that chromatin fragmentation and the nuclear morphological changes typically seen in apoptosis were reproduced in an in vitro system comprised of isolated rat thymocyte nuclei incubated in the presence of a lysate from Fas/APO-1-stimulated JURKAT cells [Chow, Weis, Kass, Holmström, Eriksson and Orrenius (1995) FEBS Lett. 364, 134-138]. Using this in vitro system, we now report that the presence of ATP is necessary for chromatin condensation, its movement to the nuclear periphery and apoptotic body formation. In clear contrast, chromatin cleavage into high-molecular-mass and oligonucleosomal-length DNA fragments induced by lysates derived from Fas/APO-1-activated JURKAT cells did not require the presence of ATP. The induction of these morphological changes by ATP could not be substituted by the analogues, adenosine 5'-[beta, gamma-methylene]triphosphate and adenosine 5'-[alpha, beta-methylene]-triphosphate, AMP, cAMP and UTP. However, adenosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate, and to a lesser degree GTP and ADP, could partially replace ATP in inducing nuclear apoptotic morphological changes. It is concluded that ATP is essential for the morphological changes occurring in nuclei during apoptosis, but not for DNA fragmentation.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)749–752
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Volume318 ( Pt 3)
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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