dNTP pools imbalance as a signal to initiate apoptosis
- Cite this article as:
- Oliver, F.J., Collins, M.K.L. & López-Rivas, A. Experientia (1996) 52: 995. doi:10.1007/BF01920108
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Fidelity in DNA synthesis and repair is largely dependent on a balanced supply of deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) pools. Results from different groups have shown that alterations in dNTP supply result in DNA fragmentation and cell death with characteristics of apoptosis. We have recently shown that in apoptosis driven by deprivation of interleukin-3 (IL-3) in a murine hemopoietic cell line, there is a rapid imbalance in the availability of dNTP that precedes DNA fragmentation. In these cells, dNTP pool balance is closely coupled to the function of the salvage pathway of dNTP synthesis. Apoptosis, induced by treatment of these cells with drugs that inhibit the de novo dNTP synthesis, is prevented when dNTP precursors are supplied through the salvage pathway. IL-3 regulates thymidine kinase activity, suggesting that alterations in dNTP metabolism after IL-3 deprivation could be a relevant event in the commitment of hemopoietic cells to apoptosis.