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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 746092, 10 pages
Research Article

Nucleofection of Rat Pheochromocytoma PC-12 Cells with Human Mutated Beta-Amyloid Precursor Protein Gene (APP-sw) Leads to Reduced Viability, Autophagy-Like Process, and Increased Expression and Secretion of Beta Amyloid

1Electron Microscopy Platform, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawińskiego 5, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland

Received 18 July 2014; Accepted 6 October 2014

Academic Editor: Patrycja Pawlikowska

Copyright © 2015 Beata Pająk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pheochromocytoma PC-12 cells are immune to physiological stimuli directed to evoke programmed cell death. Besides, metabolic inhibitors are incapable of sensitizing PC-12 cells to extrinsic or intrinsic apoptosis unless they are used in toxic concentrations. Surprisingly, these cells become receptive to cell deletion after human APP-sw gene expression. We observed reduced cell viability in GFP vector + APP-sw-nucleofected cells (drop by 36%) but not in GFP vector − or GFP vector + APP-wt-nucleofected cells. Lower viability was accompanied by higher expression of A 1-16 and elevated secretion of A 1-40 (in average 53.58 pg/mL). At the ultrastructural level autophagy-like process was demonstrated to occur in APP-sw-nucleofected cells with numerous autophagosomes and multivesicular bodies but without autolysosomes. Human APP-sw gene is harmful to PC-12 cells and cells are additionally driven to incomplete autophagy-like process. When stimulated by TRAIL or nystatin, CLU protein expression accompanies early phase of autophagy.