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(1/149) Cross-talk between two cysteine protease families. Activation of caspase-12 by calpain in apoptosis.

Calpains and caspases are two cysteine protease families that play important roles in regulating pathological cell death. Here, we report that m-calpain may be responsible for cleaving procaspase-12, a caspase localized in the ER, to generate active caspase-12. In addition, calpain may be responsible for cleaving the loop region in Bcl-xL and, therefore, turning an antiapoptotic molecule into a proapoptotic molecule. We propose that disturbance to intracellular calcium storage as a result of ischemic injury or amyloid beta peptide cytotoxicity may induce apoptosis through calpain- mediated caspase-12 activation and Bcl-xL inactivation. These data suggest a novel apoptotic pathway involving calcium-mediated calpain activation and cross-talks between calpain and caspase families.  (+info)

(2/149) Activation of caspase-12, an endoplastic reticulum (ER) resident caspase, through tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2-dependent mechanism in response to the ER stress.

When accumulation of a malfolded protein in the endoplastic reticulum (ER) is induced by various adverse conditions, such as hypoxia, glucose starvation, and perturbation of calcium homeostasis, cells respond to the stress by increasing transcription of genes encoding ER molecular chaperones, a process known as unfolded protein response. The signaling is initiated by IRE1s, ER stress sensors. Alternatively, excessive stress to the ER results in apoptosis. Caspase-12 is known to be essential for this ER stress-induced apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed the detailed regulatory mechanisms of IRE1s during ER stress. We identified c-Jun N-terminal inhibitory kinase (JIK) as a binding partner of IRE1alpha, and JIK was seen to modulate IRE1alpha-TRAF2 (tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2) complex formation and the resultant alteration to c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling from IRE1s in response to ER stress. We also demonstrated that TRAF2 interacts with procaspase-12 and promotes the clustering of procaspase-12 and its activation by cleavage in response to ER stress. These results indicate that TRAF2 plays crucial roles not only in the signaling of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway but also in activation of caspase-12 to transduce signals from IRE1s. Thus, we provide a missing link in the ER stress-induced apoptosis-signaling pathway, one which connects the stress sensor molecule IRE1 and the activation of caspase-12.  (+info)

(3/149) Coupling endoplasmic reticulum stress to the cell death program. Mechanism of caspase activation.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the site of assembly of polypeptide chains destined for secretion or routing into various subcellular compartments. It also regulates cellular responses to stress and intracellular Ca(2+) levels. A variety of toxic insults can result in ER stress that ultimately leads to apoptosis. Apoptosis is initiated by the activation of members of the caspase family and serves as a central mechanism in the cell death process. The present study was carried out to determine the role of caspases in triggering ER stress-induced cell death. Treatment of cells with ER stress inducers such as brefeldin-A or thapsigargin induces the expression of caspase-12 protein and also leads to translocation of cytosolic caspase-7 to the ER surface. Caspase-12, like most other members of the caspase family, requires cleavage of the prodomain to activate its proapoptotic form. Caspase-7 associates with caspase-12 and cleaves the prodomain to generate active caspase-12, resulting in increased cell death. We propose that any cellular insult that causes prolonged ER stress may induce apoptosis through caspase-7-mediated caspase-12 activation. The data underscore the involvement of ER and caspases associated with it in the ER stress-induced apoptotic process.  (+info)

(4/149) Endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced cysteine protease activation in cortical neurons: effect of an Alzheimer's disease-linked presenilin-1 knock-in mutation.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress elicits protective responses of chaperone induction and translational suppression and, when unimpeded, leads to caspase-mediated apoptosis. Alzheimer's disease-linked mutations in presenilin-1 (PS-1) reportedly impair ER stress-mediated protective responses and enhance vulnerability to degeneration. We used cleavage site-specific antibodies to characterize the cysteine protease activation responses of primary mouse cortical neurons to ER stress and evaluate the influence of a PS-1 knock-in mutation on these and other stress responses. Two different ER stressors lead to processing of the ER-resident protease procaspase-12, activation of calpain, caspase-3, and caspase-6, and degradation of ER and non-ER protein substrates. Immunocytochemical localization of activated caspase-3 and a cleaved substrate of caspase-6 confirms that caspase activation extends into the cytosol and nucleus. ER stress-induced proteolysis is unchanged in cortical neurons derived from the PS-1 P264L knock-in mouse. Furthermore, the PS-1 genotype does not influence stress-induced increases in chaperones Grp78/BiP and Grp94 or apoptotic neurodegeneration. A similar lack of effect of the PS-1 P264L mutation on the activation of caspases and induction of chaperones is observed in fibroblasts. Finally, the PS-1 knock-in mutation does not alter activation of the protein kinase PKR-like ER kinase (PERK), a trigger for stress-induced translational suppression. These data demonstrate that ER stress in cortical neurons leads to activation of several cysteine proteases within diverse neuronal compartments and indicate that Alzheimer's disease-linked PS-1 mutations do not invariably alter the proteolytic, chaperone induction, translational suppression, and apoptotic responses to ER stress.  (+info)

(5/149) Wild-type, mitochondrial and ER-restricted Bcl-2 inhibit DNA damage-induced apoptosis but do not affect death receptor-induced apoptosis.

The proto-oncogene Bcl-2 is expressed in membranes of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum and mediates resistance against a broad range of apoptotic stimuli. Although several mechanisms of Bcl-2 action have been proposed, its role in different cellular organelles remains elusive. Here, we analyzed the function of Bcl-2 targeted specifically to certain subcellular compartments in Jurkat cells. Bcl-2 expression was restricted to the outer mitochondrial membrane by replacing its membrane anchor with the mitochondrial insertion sequence of ActA (Bcl-2/MT) or the ER-specific sequence of cytochrome b5 (Bcl-2/ER). Additionally, cells expressing wild-type Bcl-2 (Bcl-2/WT) or a transmembrane domain-lacking mutant (Bcl-2/DeltaTM) were employed. Apoptosis induced by ionizing radiation or by the death receptors for CD95L or TRAIL was analyzed by determination of the mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) and activation of different caspases. Bcl-2/WT and Bcl-2/MT strongly inhibited radiation-induced apoptosis and caspase activation, whereas Bcl-2/DeltaTM had completely lost its anti-apoptotic effect. Interestingly, Bcl-2/ER conferred protection against radiation-induced mitochondrial damage and apoptosis similarly to Bcl-2/MT. The finding that ER-targeted Bcl-2 interfered with mitochondrial DeltaPsi(m) breakdown and caspase-9 activation indicates the presence of a crosstalk between both organelles in radiation-induced apoptosis. By contrast, Bcl-2 in either subcellular position did not influence CD95- or TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.  (+info)

(6/149) Formation of noncanonical high molecular weight caspase-3 and -6 complexes and activation of caspase-12 during serum starvation induced apoptosis in AKR-2B mouse fibroblasts.

Apoptosis is mainly brought about by the activation of caspases, a protease family with unique substrate selectivity. In mammals, different complexes like the DISC complex or the apoptosome complexes have been delineated leading to the cleavage and thus activation of the executioner caspases. Although caspase-3 is the main executioner caspase in apoptosis induced by serum starvation in AKR-2B fibroblasts as demonstrated by affinity labeling with YVK(-bio)D.aomk and partial purification of cytosolic extracts by high performance ion exchange chromatography, its activation is apparently caused by a noncanonical pathway: (1) Expression of CrmA, an inhibitor of caspase-8, failed to suppress apoptosis; (2) There was no formation of high molecular weight complexes of Apaf-1 indicative for its activation. Furthermore no cleavage of caspase-9 was observed. But surprisingly, gelfiltration experiments revealed the distribution of caspase-3 and -6 into differently sized high molecular weight complexes during apoptosis. Though the apparent molecular weights of the complexes containing caspase-3 (600 kD for apoptosome and 250 kD for microapoptosome) are in accordance with recently published data, the activity profiles differ strikingly. In AKR-2B cells caspase-3 is mainly recovered as uncomplexed enzyme and in much lower levels in the apoptosomes. Remarkably, the 600 kD and 250 kD complexes containing activated caspase-3 were devoid of Apaf-1 and cytochrome c. In addition a new 450 kD complex containing activated caspase-6 was found that is clearly separated from the caspase-3 containing complexes. Furthermore, we disclose for the first time the activation of caspase-12 in response to serum starvation. Activated caspase-12 is detectable as non-complexed free enzyme in the cytosol.  (+info)

(7/149) Coupling endoplasmic reticulum stress to the cell death program. An Apaf-1-independent intrinsic pathway.

Accumulation of misfolded proteins and alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes ER stress and leads to cell death. However, the signal-transducing events that connect ER stress to cell death pathways are incompletely understood. To discern the pathway by which ER stress-induced cell death proceeds, we performed studies on Apaf-1(-/-) (null) fibroblasts that are known to be relatively resistant to apoptotic insults that induce the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. While these cells were resistant to cell death initiated by proapoptotic stimuli such as tamoxifen, they were susceptible to apoptosis induced by thapsigargin and brefeldin-A, both of which induce ER stress. This pathway was inhibited by catalytic mutants of caspase-12 and caspase-9 and by a peptide inhibitor of caspase-9 but not by caspase-8 inhibitors. Cleavage of caspases and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase was observed in cell-free extracts lacking cytochrome c that were isolated from thapsigargin or brefeldin-treated cells. To define the molecular requirements for this Apaf-1 and cytochrome c-independent apoptosis pathway further, we developed a cell-free system of ER stress-induced apoptosis; the addition of microsomes prepared from ER stress-induced cells to a normal cell extract lacking mitochondria or cytochrome c resulted in processing of caspases. Immunodepletion experiments suggested that caspase-12 was one of the microsomal components required to activate downstream caspases. Thus, ER stress-induced programmed cell death defines a novel, mitochondrial and Apaf-1-independent, intrinsic apoptotic pathway.  (+info)

(8/149) Coupling endoplasmic reticulum stress to the cell death program: role of the ER chaperone GRP78.

Alterations in Ca(2+) homeostasis and accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lead to an ER stress response. Prolonged ER stress may lead to cell death. Glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78 (Bip) is an ER lumen protein whose expression is induced during ER stress. GRP78 is involved in polypeptide translocation across the ER membrane, and also acts as an apoptotic regulator by protecting the host cell against ER stress-induced cell death, although the mechanism by which GRP78 exerts its cytoprotective effect is not understood. The present study was carried out to determine whether one of the mechanisms of cell death inhibition by GRP78 involves inhibition of caspase activation. Our studies indicate that treatment of cells with ER stress inducers causes GRP78 to redistribute from the ER lumen with subpopulations existing in the cytosol and as an ER transmembrane protein. GRP78 inhibits cytochrome c-mediated caspase activation in a cell-free system, and expression of GRP78 blocks both caspase activation and caspase-mediated cell death. GRP78 forms a complex with caspase-7 and -12 and prevents release of caspase-12 from the ER. Addition of (d)ATP dissociates this complex and may facilitate movement of caspase-12 into the cytoplasm to set in motion the cytosolic component of the ER stress-induced apoptotic cascade. These results define a novel protective role for GRP78 in preventing ER stress-induced cell death.  (+info)