Menadione-induced cell degeneration is related to lipid peroxidation in human cancer cells.

T. J. Chiou, Y. T. Chou, W. F. Tzeng

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The role of lipid peroxidation, intracellular glutathione and Ca2+ concentration in menadione-mediated toxicity was investigated in human hepatoma cell lines, Hep G2 and Hep 3B, and in human leukemia cell lines, CCRF-CEM and MOLT-3. Incubation of these cells with 80 microM menadione at 37 degrees C resulted in depletion of intracellular glutathione, increased intracellular Ca2+, and increased lipid peroxidation, events leading to cell degeneration. The sensitivity of these cells to menadione, in order, was: Hep G2 cells > Hep 3B cells > CCRF-CEM cells and MOLT-3 cells. The extent of menadione-induced lipid peroxidation in different cell types followed the same order as did their susceptibility to menadione-induced cell degeneration. The menadione-induced depletion in glutathione level was in the following sequence: Hep G2 cells > MOLT-3 and CCRF-CEM cells > Hep 3B cells. The extent of the menadione-induced increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration was: Hep G2 cells > Molt-3 cells > CCRF-CEM cells and Hep 3B cells. Pre-treatment of Hep G2 cells with 20 mM deferoxamine mesylate, an iron chelator, reduced both the menadione-induced cell degeneration and lipid peroxidation; however, it did not prevent the menadione-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ nor the depletion of glutathione. These data suggest that menadione-induced cell degeneration is directly linked to lipid peroxidation, and that it is less related to the rise in intracellular Ca2+ and the depletion in glutathione content. Dicumarol (an inhibitor of DT diaphorase) enhanced the capacity of menadione to induce Hep 3B cell degeneration from 71.3% to 86.2% after 120 min of menadione treatment at 37 degrees C, but did not have this effect in Hep G2, CCRF-CEM or MOLT-3 cells. The activities of DT diaphorase were 52.4, 39.6, 1.5 and 1.8 nmol cytochrome c reduced/min/mg protein in Hep G2, Hep 3B, CCRF-CEM and MOLT-3 cells, respectively. The activity of DT diaphorase was much higher in Hep G2 cells than in the other cells. It seems that DT diaphorase may not, as suggested by others, protect against cell degeneration by quinones, such as menadione.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Science Council, Republic of China. Part B, Life sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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