Menadione triggers cell death through ROS-dependent mechanisms involving PARP activation without requiring apoptosis

Gabriel Loor, Jyothisri Kondapalli, Jacqueline M. Schriewer, Navdeep S. Chandel, Terry L. Vanden Hoek, Paul T. Schumacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can function as redox-active signaling messengers, whereas high levels of ROS induce cellular damage. Menadione generates ROS through redox cycling, and high concentrations trigger cell death. Previous work suggests that menadione triggers cytochrome c release from mitochondria, whereas other studies implicate the activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore as the mediator of cell death. We investigated menadione-induced cell death in genetically modified cells lacking specific death-associated proteins. In cardiomyocytes, oxidant stress was assessed using the redox sensor RoGFP, expressed in the cytosol or the mitochondrial matrix. Menadione elicited rapid oxidation in both compartments, whereas it decreased mitochondrial potential and triggered cytochrome c redistribution to the cytosol. Cell death was attenuated by N-acetylcysteine and exogenous glutathione or by overexpression of cytosolic or mitochondria- targeted catalase. By contrast, no protection was observed in cells overexpressing Cu,Zn-SOD or Mn-SOD. Overexpression of antiapoptotic Bcl-X L protected against staurosporine-induced cell death, but it failed to confer protection against menadione. Genetic deletion of Bax and Bak, cytochrome c, cyclophilin D, or caspase-9 conferred no protection against menadione-induced cell death. However, cells lacking PARP-1 showed a significant decrease in menadione-induced cell death. Thus, menadione induces cell death through the generation of oxidant stress in multiple subcellular compartments, yet cytochrome c, Bax/Bak, caspase-9, and cyclophilin D are dispensable for cell death in this model. These studies suggest that multiple redundant cell death pathways are activated by menadione, but that PARP plays an essential role in mediating each of them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1925-1936
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2010


  • Apoptosis
  • Free radicals
  • Mitochondria
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Redox cycling agents
  • RoGFP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Menadione triggers cell death through ROS-dependent mechanisms involving PARP activation without requiring apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this