Role of carbohydrate moiety of bleomycin-A2 in caspase-3 activation and internucleosomal chromatin fragmentation in apoptosis of laryngeal carcinoma cells


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Bleomycin (BLM), an antitumor antibiotic, is currently used during anticancer therapy. The therapeutic efficiency of BLM for the treatment of malignant tumors is related to its ability to cleave DNA. However, little is known about the biological activity of the glycannic moiety in BLM-induced cytotoxicity. In this study, cell death induced by BLM-A2 and deglycosylated BLM-A2 was studied in a laryngeal carcinoma cell line (HEp-2 cells). Our results indicate that HEp-2 cells showed morphological and biochemical changes associated with apoptosis in the presence of low concentrations of BLM-A2. In contrast, the same changes, except activation of caspase-3 and internucleosomal digestion of genomic DNA, were observed when cells were exposed to high concentrations of deglycosylated BLM-A2. These observations indicate that the glycannic moiety from the bleomycin molecule has important biological effects on the cytotoxicity of the drug.