Apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death, involves activation of caspase proteases cascade that remains under the regulatory control of nitric oxide. In this study, we investigated the activity of a key apoptotic protease, caspase-3, and the expression of nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS-2) associated with buccal epithelial cells apoptosis induced by chronic ethanol diet. The assays revealed that a 7.9-fold enhancement in buccal epithelial cells apoptosis, observed in the alcohol diet group, was accompanied by a 37.6-fold increase in caspase-3 activity and a 10.1-fold increase in NOS-2. Furthermore, the expression of NOS-2 showed a positive correlation (r = 0.92) with the extent of changes induced in caspase-3 activity. These results implicate caspase-3 in the process of alcohol-induced epithelial cells apoptosis, and point towards participation of NOS-2 in the amplification of the cell death signaling cascade.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Buccal mucosa