Restrictin-p/stromal activin a, kills its target cells via an apoptotic mechanism

Dalia Sternberg, Judy Honigwachs-sha'anani, Naama Brosh, Zvi Malik, Yigal Burstein, Dov Zipori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We have recently found that the inhibitor of plasmacytoma cell growth, restrictin-P, is a stroma derived activin A and that it is an antagonist of interleukin-6 and interleukin-11. The present study was aimed at determining the mode by which this cytokine kills its target cells. On addition of the cytokine there was little or no net increase in cell number, depending on the specific target cells. All plasmacytoma cell lines tested exhibited a similar time dependent inhibition of DNA synthesis and a G0/G1 shift in the cell cycle. Electron microscope examination revealed classical apoptotic features i.e. chromatin condensation and membrane blebbing. DNA fragmentation, measured qualitatively and quantitatively, occurred in all cytokine treated plasmacytoma cell lines. Bovine activin A had an identical capacity to reduce cell viability, to induce G0/G1 shift and to cause DNA fragmentation. X-ray microanalysis of intracellular ions revealed an increase in calcium ions, following exposure of plasmacytoma cells to restrictin-P, accompanied by a decrease in phosphor ions. The cytotoxicity of the inhibitor was augmented in an additive manner by cycloheximide (CHX) indicating that the process did not require de novo protein synthesis. This study thus shows that restrictin-P/stromal activin A kills its target cells by inducing apoptosis. This effect was mediated by subnanogram concentrations and therefore may represent one physiological function of this pleiotropic cytokine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalGrowth Factors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Activin A
  • Apoptosis
  • Plasmacytomas
  • Restrictin-P
  • Stroma


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