Overexpression of wild-type p53 in M1 myeloid leukemia cells induces apoptotic cell death that was suppressed by the calcium ionophore A23187 and the calcium ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin (TG). This suppression of apoptosis by A23187 or TG was associated with suppression of caspase activation but not with suppression of wild-type-p53-induced expression of WAF-1, mdm-2, or FAS. In contrast to suppression of apoptosis by the cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interferon γ, a protease inhibitor, or an antioxidant, suppression of apoptosis by A23187 or TG required extracellular Ca2+ and was specifically abolished by the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporin A. IL-6 induced immediate early activation of junB and zif/268 (Egr-1) but A23187 and TG did not. A23187 and TG also suppressed induction of apoptosis by doxorubicin or vincristine in M1 cells that did not express p53 by a cyclosporin A-sensitive mechanism. Suppression of apoptosis by A23187 or TG was not associated with autocrine production of IL-6. Apoptosis induced in IL-6-primed M1 cells after IL-6 withdrawal was not suppressed by A23187 or TG but was suppressed by the cytokines IL-6, IL-3, or interferon γ. The results indicate that these Ca2+-mobilizing compounds can suppress some pathways of apoptosis suppressed by cytokines but do so by a different mechanism
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