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

Proteinase-3 induces procaspase-3 activation in the absence of apoptosis: potential role of this compartmentalized activation of membrane-associated procaspase-3 in neutrophils.

In the present study, we provide evidence that procaspase-3 is a novel target of proteinase 3 (PR3) but not of human neutrophil elastase (HNE). Human mast cell clone 1 (HMC1) and rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) mast cell lines were transfected with PR3 or the inactive mutated PR3 (PR3S203A) or HNE cDNA. In both RBL/PR3 and HMC1/PR3, a constitutive activity of caspase-3 was measured with DEVD substrate, due to the direct processing of procaspase-3 by PR3. No caspase-3 activation was observed in cells transfected with the inactive PR3 mutant or HNE. Despite the high caspase-3 activity in RBL/PR3, no apoptosis was detected as demonstrated by an absence of 1) phosphatidylserine externalization, 2) mitochondria cytochrome c release, 3) upstream caspase-8 or caspase-9 activation, or 4) DNA fragmentation. In vitro, purified PR3 cleaved procaspase-3 into an active 22-kDa fragment. In neutrophils, the 22-kDa caspase-3 activation fragment was present only in resting neutrophils but was absent after apoptosis. The 22 kDa fragment was specific of myeloid cells because it was absent from resting lymphocytes. This 22-kDa fragment was not present when neutrophils were treated with pefabloc, an inhibitor of serine proteinase. Like in HMC1/PR3, the 22-kDa caspase-3 fragment was restricted to the plasma membrane compartment. Double immunofluorescence labeling after streptolysin-O permeabilization further showed that PR3 and procaspase-3 could colocalize in an extragranular compartment. In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that compartmentalized PR3-induced caspase-3 activation might play specific functions in neutrophil survival.[1]


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