Intracellular ATP is required for actinomycin D-induced apoptotic cell death in HeLa cells

Chih Chung Chou, Chun Yuen Lam, Yat Ming Yung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In the present report, we demonstrate that reduction of cellular ATP content with antimycin A blocks actinomycin D-induced apoptotic cell death in HeLa cells. Compared to cells (~80%) treated with actinomycin D (1 μg/ml, 48 h) alone in glucose-containing medium, a much smaller percentage of cells (~20%) treated with actinomycin D in the presence of antimycin A in glucose-free medium shows morphological characteristic of apoptosis. ATP-depleted cells with or without actinomycin D treatment, on the other hand, die necrotically. In cells under actinomycin D short exposure treatment (1 μg/ml; 1 h), apoptosis occurs when cellular ATP content is rapidly recovered after the removal of antimycin A and resupplementation of glucose-containing medium. In the incubation of isolated Triton-permeabilized cells with ATP (>0.5 mM), apoptotic nuclei become abundant 4 h after ATP treatment. These results implicate the requirement of ATP for the induction of apoptosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptotic cell death
  • ATP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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