25-Hydroxycholesterol Activates a Cytochrome C Release-Mediated Caspase Cascade

Document Type


Publication Date



We have previously shown that 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OHC) treated CHO-K1 cells could be used as a model to investigate the signaling pathway of apoptosis induced by oxidized LDL in vascular cells. In the present study, we examine the execution phase of the apoptotic pathway in CHO-K1 cell death induced by 25-OHC. Oxysterol-induced apoptosis in CHO-K1 was accompanied by caspase activation and was preceded by mitochondrial cytochrome c release. The addition of a competitive caspase-3 inhibitor, Ac-DEVD-CHO, prevented 25-OHC-induced apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, immunoblot analysis showed that 25-OHC treatment induced the degradation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) - a substrate for caspase 3 and a key enzyme involved in genome surveillance and DNA repair. Thus, we could demonstrate in CHO-K1 cells that 25-OHC activates the apoptotic machinery through induction of the release of cytochrome c from mitochodria into the cytosol and activation of a typical caspase cascade.