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Cell Death


Induction of Apoptosis by Treatment with Camptothecin


Camptothecin, an extract of the Chinese tree Camptotheca acuminata, is a potent inhibitor of topoisomerase I, a molecule required for DNA synthesis. Camptothecin has been shown to induce apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. Camptothecin is routinely used as a general method for inducing apoptosis.


Protocol for Camptothecin-induced Apoptosis:


  1. Prepare a 1 mM stock solution of Camptothecin (Sigma Cat. No. C-9911) in DMSO.
  2. Add 4-6 µM (final concentration) Camptothecin to cell suspension (eg, 5 x 10 5 cells/ml in tissue culture medium).
  3. Perform a time course to obtain optimum results; a 2-12 hr incubation at 37°C is suggested.
  4. Proceed with assays designed to evaluate induction of apoptosis.