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

Calcineurin mediates acetylcholinesterase expression during calcium ionophore A23187-induced HeLa cell apoptosis.

We previously reported that acetylcholinesterase plays a critical role in apoptosis and its expression is regulated by Ca(2+) mobilization. In the present study, we show that activated calpain, a cytosolic calcium-activated cysteine protease, and calcineurin, a calcium-dependent protein phosphatase, regulate acetylcholinesterase expression during A23187-induced apoptosis. The calpain inhibitor, calpeptin, and the calcineurin inhibitors, FK506 and cyclosporine A, inhibited acetylcholinesterase expression at both mRNA and protein levels and suppressed the activity of the human acetylcholinesterase promoter. In contrast, overexpression of constitutively active calcineurin significantly activated the acetylcholinesterase promoter. Furthermore, we identify a role for the transcription factor NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), a calcineurin target, in regulating the acetylcholinesterase promoter during ionophore-induced apoptosis. Overexpression of human NFATc3 and NFATc4 greatly increased the acetylcholinesterase promoter activity in HeLa cells treated with A23187. Overexpression of constitutive nuclear NFATc4 activated the acetylcholinesterase promoter independent of A23187, whereas overexpression of dominant-negative NFAT blocked A23187-induced acetylcholinesterase promoter activation. These results indicate that calcineurin mediates acetylcholinesterase expression during apoptosis.[1]


  1. Calcineurin mediates acetylcholinesterase expression during calcium ionophore A23187-induced HeLa cell apoptosis. Zhu, H., Gao, W., Jiang, H., Wu, J., Shi, Y.F., Zhang, X.J. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2007) [Pubmed]
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