Inhibitory Effect of Nicotine on Apoptosis Induced by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

  • Lee, Dong-Hee (Department of Life Sciences, University of Seoul)
  • Published : 2007.12.31


Cigarette smoking causes serious health problems in humans, especially if smoking habits are established during their adolescence. Nicotine is known to mutate DNA and interfere with apoptosis. Apoptosis is considered as a potent defense mechanism against cellular damaging agents. This study aims to investigate the effect of nicotine on the progression of apoptosis induced under ER stress conditions using four different established cell lines: HEK293, 3T3-L1, C2C12, and HepG2. When treated with nicotine, the progression of apoptosis was notably inhibited in the four cell lines according to the assays of caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation. In ER-stressed cells, nicotine appears to inhibit the progression of apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. When cells were treated with nicotine prior to ER stress, GRP94 level significantly increased compared to other ER stress markers of PDI and GRP78. This observation suggests that the inhibitory effect of nicotine may results from up-regulation of GRP94, an anti-apoptotic chaperone, under nicotine treatment. Taken together, the present study strongly implies that nicotine may inhibit apoptosis, caused by prolonged ER stress, based on promotion of GRP94 expression.


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