Journal Article

H1 histamine receptor antagonists induce genotoxic and caspase-2-dependent apoptosis in human melanoma cells

Shawkat-Muhialdin Jangi, José Luís Díaz-Pérez, Borja Ochoa-Lizarralde, Itziar Martín-Ruiz, Aintzane Asumendi, Gorka Pérez-Yarza, Jesús Gardeazabal, José Luis Díaz-Ramón and María Dolores Boyano

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 27, issue 9, pages 1787-1796
ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgl021
H1 histamine receptor antagonists induce genotoxic and caspase-2-dependent apoptosis in human melanoma cells

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Previously, we found that the H1 histamine receptor antagonist diphenhydramine induces apoptosis in human acute T-lymphocytic leukemia cells. Since histamine has been shown to act as a growth factor in malignant melanoma cells, we decided to evaluate the in vitro effect of diphenhydramine and other H1 histamine receptor antagonists, such as terfenadine, astemizol and triprolidine on four malignant human melanoma cell lines. These antagonists were found to induce apoptotic cell death in all four melanoma cell lines. Apoptosis was determined by assessment of phosphatidylserine exposure on the surface of the cells and nuclear fragmentation. Importantly, H1 antagonist treatments did not adversely affect the viability of human melanocytes and murine fibroblasts at the same doses and duration of exposure. Treatment of melanoma cells with terfenadine induced DNA damage and caspases 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 activation. Furthermore, the general caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-FMK) and a selective inhibitor of caspase-2 (z-VDVAD-FMK) protected melanoma cells from terfenadine-induced apoptosis. In contrast, the caspase-8 inhibitor (z-IETD-FMK) was ineffective. In addition, we found that mitochondria are involved in TEF-induced apoptosis, characterized by the dissipation of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, the release of cytochrome c into the cytosolic compartment and caspase-9 activation. On the basis of these results we conclude that H1 histamine receptor antagonists induce apoptosis in human melanoma cells but not in normal melanocytes and embryonic murine fibroblasts; this apoptosis appears to be caspase-2-dependent and involves the mitochondrial pathway. The present results may contribute to the elaboration of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of malignant human melanoma.

Journal Article.  7028 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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