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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activation of caspase-9 and -3 during H2O2-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells independent of ceramide formation.

The treatment of PC12 cells with H2O2 (100-500 microM) resulted in typical apoptotic changes including fragmentation and condensation of nuclei, and DNA fragmentation observed as DNA ladder. H2O2-induced apoptosis was associated with activation of caspase-3 as assessed by cleavage of specific fluorogenic substrate peptide and processing of procaspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. However, formation of ceramide, which often locates upstream of caspase-3, was not observed. The inhibitory peptide relatively specific for caspase-3, z-DEVD-FMK and non-selective caspase inhibitor z-VAD-FMK inhibited activation of caspase-3 and apoptotic cell death. However, the relatively specific inhibitors, Ac-YVKD for caspase-1 and Ac-IETD for caspase-8/6, did not affect the occurrence of apoptotic cell death. As an upstream activation of caspase-3, induction of cytochrome c release followed by processing of procaspase-9 was observed by Western blotting, although the formation of intracellular ceramide was not observed. On the other hand, in PC12 cells overexpressing Bcl-2, the number of apoptotic cells was markedly decreased and activation of both caspases-9 and -3 was prevented. These results suggest that cytochrome c and caspase-9 initiate the activation of executor caspase-3 in H2O2-treated PC12 cells, and that Bcl-2 inhibits H2O2- induced release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and then proteolytic processing of procaspase-9.[1]


  1. Activation of caspase-9 and -3 during H2O2-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells independent of ceramide formation. Yamakawa, H., Ito, Y., Naganawa, T., Banno, Y., Nakashima, S., Yoshimura, S., Sawada, M., Nishimura, Y., Nozawa, Y., Sakai, N. Neurol. Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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