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ELL-12, a liposome formulation of the ether-lipid 1-O-octadecyl-2-O-methyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (ET-18-OCH(3)), is a nonmyelosuppressive antiproliferative agent that is more effective and less toxic than the ether lipid itself in tumor model systems. We found that ELL-12 induced apoptosis in Jurkat, H9, and U-937 cells that was preceded by activation of executioner caspases. In addition, ELL-12 triggered release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to the cytoplasm before caspase-9 activation. Apoptosis, activation of caspases, and cytochrome c release were blocked by Bcl-x(L) overexpression in Jurkat T cells, suggesting a critical role for mitochondria in ELL-12-triggered cell death. Furthermore, ELL-12 had no effect on expression of CD95 ligand, and inhibition of the Fas signaling pathway with antagonistic anti-CD95 antibody did not affect apoptosis induced by ELL-12. Hence, ELL-12 could be a promising adjunct for the treatment of tumors in addition to myelosuppressive chemotherapeutic drugs and/or those that use the CD95-ligand/receptor system to trigger apoptosis.


O Cuvillier, E Mayhew, A S Janoff, S Spiegel. Liposomal ET-18-OCH(3) induces cytochrome c-mediated apoptosis independently of CD95 (APO-1/Fas) signaling. Blood. 1999 Nov 15;94(10):3583-92

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PMID: 10552970

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