Inhibition of c-Myc expression sensitizes hepatocytes to tumor necrosis factor-induced apoptosis and necrosis

Hailing Liu, Chau R. Lo, Brett E. Jones, Zehra Pradhan, Anu Srinivasan, Karen L. Valentino, Richard J. Stockert, Mark J. Czaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The typical proliferative response of hepatocytes to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) can be converted to a cytotoxic one by transcriptional arrest. Although NF-κB activation is critical for hepatocyte resistance to TNF toxicity, the contribution of other TNF-inducible transcription factors remains unknown. To determine the function of c-Myc in hepatocyte sensitivity to TNF, stable transfectants of the rat hepatocyte cell line RALA255-10G containing sense and antisense c-myc expression vectors were isolated with increased (S-Myc cells) and decreased (AN-Myc cells) c-Myc transcriptional activity. While S-Myc cells proliferated in response to TNF treatment, AN-Myc cells underwent 32% cell death within 6 h. Fluorescent microscopic studies indicated that TNF induced apoptosis and necrosis in AN-Myc cells. Cell death was associated with DNA hypoploidy and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage but occurred in the absence of detectable caspase-3, -7, or -8 activation. TNF-induced, AN-Myc cell death was dependent on Fas-associated protein with death domain and partially blocked by caspase inhibitors. AN-Myc cells had decreased levels of NF-κB transcriptional activity, but S-Myc cells maintained resistance to TNF despite NF-κB inactivation, suggesting that c-Myc and NF-κB independently mediate TNF resistance. Thus, in the absence of sufficient c-Myc expression, hepatocytes are sensitized to TNF-induced apoptosis and necrosis. These findings demonstrate that hepatocyte resistance to TNF is regulated by multiple transcriptional activators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40155-40162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 22 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of c-Myc expression sensitizes hepatocytes to tumor necrosis factor-induced apoptosis and necrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this