Caspases are important for apoptosis but are also involved in mammalian cell survival and cell division. Here we report that caspase-3 is a negative regulator of B cell cycling. Mice deficient in caspase-3 (Casp3-/- mice) have increased numbers of splenic B cells that show normal apoptosis but enhanced proliferation in vivo and hyperproliferation after mitogenic stimulation in vitro. Cdkn1a encodes p21 (also called Waf1 or Cip1), a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor. Although expression of p21 was increased, CDK activities and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were increased in Casp3-/- B cells. Using Casp3-/-Cdkn1a-/- mice, we show that the hyperproliferation of Casp3-/- B cells is abolished when Cdkn1a is also deleted. Our genetic and biochemical data demonstrate that caspase-3 is essential in the regulation of B cell homeostasis.
SciCrunch® is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch® will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch®, however this is not currently a free service.