Activation of the caspase cascade during Stx1-induced apoptosis in Burkitt's lymphoma cells

S. Ahdjoudj, F. Lasmoles, B. O. Oyajobi, A. Lomri, Ph Delannoy, P. J. Marie

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32 Scopus citations


Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) produced by Escherichia coli has been reported to induce apoptosis in many different cell types, including Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cells. Since it has been established that the caspases play essential roles as the effector molecules in the apoptotic process in most cases, we examined the kinetics of caspase activation during the process of Stx1-mediated apoptosis of BL cells. Using Ramos BL cells that are highly sensitive to Stx1-mediated cytotoxicity, we observed that multiple caspases, including caspase-3, -7, and -8 were promptly activated following Stx1 treatment, as indicated by both the procaspase cleavages and enhancement of cleavage of the tetrapeptide substrates of the caspases. In addition, the inhibition assay revealed that caspase-8 is located upstream of both caspase-3 and -7, suggesting that Stx1-mediated apoptosis utilizes a similar caspase cascade to that involved in Fas-mediated apoptosis. Neither anti-Fas mAb nor TNF-α, however, affected the Stx1-mediated apoptosis of Ramos cells, Although the precise mechanism of Stx1-mediated activation of caspase-8 is still unclear, we have demonstrated that crosslinkage of CD77, a functional receptor for Stx1, with specific antibody is sufficient to induce activation of caspase-8. Our findings should provide new insight into the understanding of the molecular basis of Stx1-mediated cell injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Burkitt's lymphoma
  • CD77
  • Caspase
  • Shiga toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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