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

The role of CED-3-related cysteine proteases in apoptosis of cerebellar granule cells.

The CED-3-related cysteine proteases (CRCPs) have been implicated as mediators of apoptosis, primarily in hematogenous cell systems, but their role in neuronal apoptosis remains unclear. The present study examined the role of two CRCP families-CPP32- and interleukin-1beta converting enzyme (ICE)-like cysteine proteases-in apoptosis of cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) caused by withdrawal of serum and/or potassium (K+). Serum deprivation potentiated apoptosis caused by K+ withdrawal, reducing cell viability by approximately one half of control values after 12 hr as measured by calcein fluorescence. Cell death after serum/K+ deprivation was significantly attenuated by the CPP32-like inhibitor z-DEVD-fmk; however, the ICE-like inhibitor z-YVAD-fmk had only slightly protective effects at the highest concentration used. Both inhibitors reduced CPP32-like activity directly in an in vitro fluorometric assay system, although z-DEVD-fmk showed much greater potency. K+ and serum/K+ deprivation each were accompanied by increased CPP32-like activity; however, ICE-like activity was absent after 12 hr of serum and/or K+ deprivation. CPP32 mRNA levels were unchanged after K+ deprivation but increased after serum and combined serum/K+ withdrawal as measured by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), with peak values at 4 hr reaching 210 +/- 37% and 269 +/- 42% of control levels, respectively. In contrast, ICE mRNA was undetectable by RT-PCR. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that CPP32-like proteases play an important role in apoptosis of CGCs caused by deprivation of K+ or serum/K+.[1]


  1. The role of CED-3-related cysteine proteases in apoptosis of cerebellar granule cells. Eldadah, B.A., Yakovlev, A.G., Faden, A.I. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
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