Cell Death Induced by Peroxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein: Endopepsis

Eric T. Fossel, Christine L. Zanella, Joel G. Fletcher, Kathleen K.S. Hui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Peroxidized low-density lipoprotein (p-LDL) has been previously demonstrated to be preferentially cytotoxic to certain malignant cells compared to normal cells of the same type. We present evidence that p-LDL is at least partially taken up through the LDL receptor and that it becomes localized in lysosomes. The integrity of lysosomes of p-LDL-treated cells is compromised, and leakage of their contents into the cytosol occurs. This leakage occurs early and precedes mitochondrial dysfunction. Brefeldin A inhibits this leakage, perhaps by interfering with the traffic between endosomes and lysosomes. Electron micrographs taken at various times suggest a mechanism of cell death which resembles certain aspects of the broad definition of apoptosis. However, we suggest that the cell death observed following p-LDL-induced release of lysosomal contents is essentially unique, with released lysosomal enzymes degrading the cell from within. We suggest that this process should be described as endopepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1248
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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