Dietary regulation and localization of apoptosis cascade proteins in the colonic crypt

Carmel Avivi-Green, Sylvie Polak-Charcon, Zecharia Madar, Betty Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study was designed primarily to assess the localization of apoptosis cascade proteins along the rat colonic crypt and secondarily to test whether the activity and/or localization of these proteins are affected by the enrichment of the diet with the soluble fiber pectin. Expression of apoptosis cascade proteins was assessed in isolated colonocytes harvested from the luminal and basal crypt colonocyte populations. Two different dietary regimens were tested: a standard diet (diet A), and a diet enriched in pectin (diet B), a soluble fiber that undergoes fermentation in the cecum and produces high concentratiOnS of intracolonic short-chain fatty acids. Caspase-1 expression was maximal in luminal colonocytes of rats fed diet B, as evidenced by Western blot and immunohistological analyses. Expression of the cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase product was elevated in both the luminal and basal colonocytes of the pectin-fed group; whereas in rats fed diet A, the expression was lower, especially in basal crypt colonocytes. The highest expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 was observed in the lower compartments of the colonic crypt tissue and was maximal in the rat group fed a standard diet. The apoptotic index in colonocytes of rats fed diet B was higher than that measured in rats fed diet A. Cumulatively, our results indicate that apoptosis cascade proteins are differentially localized along the lumen-crypt axis, and their expression and activity may be controlled by dietary components. These results may, at least partially, account for the documented protective effect of butyrogenic fibers on colorectal cancer. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • Colon
  • Short-chain fatty acids
  • Soluble fiber


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