Pro-inflammatory cytokine-mediated beta cell apoptosis is activated through multiple signaling pathways involving mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. Activation of organelle-specific caspases has been implicated in the progression and execution of cell death. This study was therefore performed to elucidate the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines on a possible cross-talk between the compartment-specific caspases 9 and 12 and their differential contribution to beta cell apoptosis. Moreover, the occurrence of ROS-mediated mitochondrial damage in response to beta cell toxic cytokines has been quantified. ER-specific caspase-12 was strongly activated in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines; however, its inhibition did not abolish cytokine-induced mitochondrial caspase-9 activation and loss of cell viability. In addition, there was a significant induction of oxidative mitochondrial DNA damage and elevated cardiolipin peroxidation in insulin-producing RINm5F cells and rat islet cells. Overexpression of the H2O2 detoxifying enzyme catalase effectively reduced the observed cytokine-induced oxidative damage of mitochondrial structures. Taken together, the results strongly indicate that mitochondrial caspase-9 is not a downstream substrate of ER-specific caspase-12 and that pro-inflammatory cytokines cause apoptotic beta cell death through activation of caspase-9 primarily by hydroxyl radical-mediated mitochondrial damage. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Mehmeti, I., Gurgul-Convey, E., Lenzen, S., & Lortz, S. (2011). Induction of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in insulin-secreting cells is dependent on oxidative damage of mitochondria but independent of caspase-12 activation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1813(10), 1827–1835. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2011.06.022