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Caspase-2-induced apoptosis is dependent on caspase-9, but its processing during UV- or tumor necrosis factor-dependent cell death requires caspase-3.

Mammalian caspases are a family of cysteine proteases that plays a critical role in apoptosis. We have analyzed caspase-2 processing in human cell lines containing defined mutations in caspase-3 and caspase-9. Here we demonstrate that caspase-2 processing, during cell death induced by UV irradiation, depends both on caspase-9 and caspase-3 activity, while, during TNF-alpha-dependent apoptosis, capase-2 processing is independent of caspase-9 but still requires caspase-3. In vitro procaspase-2 is the preferred caspase cleaved by caspase-3, while caspase-7 cleaves procaspase-2 with reduced efficiency. We have also demonstrated that caspase-2-mediated apoptosis requires caspase-9 and that cells co-expressing caspase-2 and a dominant negative form of caspase-9 are impaired in activating a normal apoptotic response and release cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. Our findings suggest a role played by caspase-2 as a regulator of the mitochondrial integrity and open questions on the mechanisms responsible for its activation during cell death.

Pubmed ID: 11399776 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Amino Acid Substitution | Animals | Apoptosis | Caspase 2 | Caspase 3 | Caspase 7 | Caspase 9 | Caspases | Cell Death | Cell Line | Female | Fibroblasts | Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect | Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic | Gene Library | Humans | Mammals | Mutagenesis, Site-Directed | Recombinant Proteins | Transfection | Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha | Ultraviolet Rays

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