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

A novel isoform of TUCAN is overexpressed in human cancer tissues and suppresses both caspase-8- and caspase-9-mediated apoptosis.

Caspase-associated recruitment domains (CARD) are protein-protein interaction modules found extensively in proteins that play important roles in apoptosis. One of the CARD-containing proteins, TUCAN (CARD8), was reported previously as an antiapoptotic protein with a molecular weight of 48 kDa, which was up-regulated in colon cancer cells. We identified a novel isoform of TUCAN with a molecular weight of 54 kDa. The new variant of TUCAN, termed TUCAN-54, was expressed in gastric, colon, and breast cancer tissues but was barely detected in normal noncancerous tissues, whereas 48-kDa TUCAN was detected in tumor tissues and noncancerous tissues. To know the function of TUCAN-54 in the apoptosis of cancer cells, TUCAN-54 was overexpressed in tumor cells by gene transfection. Its overexpression inhibited pro-caspase-9 activation, leading to the suppression of the cell death induced by a protein kinase inhibitor, staurosporine, or a chemotherapeutic reagent, etoposide (VP-16). In contrast, specific small interfering RNA-mediated suppression of TUCAN-54 expression in tumor cells increased the VP-16-induced cell death rate, indicating that expression of TUCAN-54 might be associated with chemoresistance of tumor cells. In addition, it inhibited caspase-8 activation as well, thereby suppressing Fas-induced cell death. It was revealed that Fas-associated death domain was physically associated with TUCAN-54 but not with 48-kDa TUCAN. Thus, TUCAN-54 might be a novel tumor-specific antiapoptotic molecule expressed in a variety of human cancer tissues, which might aggravate malignant potential of cancer cells, such as chemoresistance and immunoresistance.[1]


  1. A novel isoform of TUCAN is overexpressed in human cancer tissues and suppresses both caspase-8- and caspase-9-mediated apoptosis. Yamamoto, M., Torigoe, T., Kamiguchi, K., Hirohashi, Y., Nakanishi, K., Nabeta, C., Asanuma, H., Tsuruma, T., Sato, T., Hata, F., Ohmura, T., Yamaguchi, K., Kurotaki, T., Hirata, K., Sato, N. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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