Rudner J, Elsaesser SJ, Jendrossek V, Huber SM
Biochemical Pharmacology 81 (1) 32-42 [2011-01-00; online 2011-01-00]
The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Celecoxib is a specific inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2. Apart from its inhibitor function, Celecoxib induces apoptosis through the intrinsic pathway which is controlled by the Bcl-2 family members. In Jurkat T lymphoma cells, treatment with Celecoxib results in a rapid decline of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2-related protein Mcl-1. The depletion of Mcl-1 is sufficient for apoptosis induction and can be blocked by overexpression of Bcl-xL but not by the close homologue Bcl-2. The present investigation analyzed the mechanism by which Bcl-xL prevents apoptosis induction whereas Bcl-2 failed to. Our data show that the involvement of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77/TR3 specifically targeting Bcl-2 but not Bcl-xL was not involved in Celecoxib-induced apoptosis. Surprisingly, BH3-only proteins Bid, Bim, and Puma of the Bcl-2 family were not needed either. However, unlike Bcl-2, Mcl-1, and Bcl-xL sequestered Bak preventing it from activation through a direct interaction. Thus, when abundantly expressed, Bcl-xL can substitute for the loss of Mcl-1 whereas Bcl-2, incapable of forming a high affinity complex with Bak, could not.