Mutations dislocate caspase-12 from the endoplasmatic reticulum to the cytosol

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Mouse AKR-2B cells express two forms of caspase-12: the full-length form coding for a protein of 47.8 kDa and a new splice variant of 40.2 kDa which is devoid of the CARD domain. In addition, three point mutations were disclosed: I/L-15, E/D-46 and P/L-105. A major portion of the two protein variants was found in the cytosol. Immunofluorescence studies showed an even distribution of caspase-12 within the cell, indicative for a cytoplasmatic localization. Transfection of AKR-2B cells with wild-type caspase-12 showed a colocalization of this protein with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Unlike mouse embryonal fibroblasts (MEF) which contain wild-type caspase-12, AKR-2B cells were largely resistant against treatment with the endoplasmatic reticulum stressing reagents brefeldin and tunicamycin. In AKR-2B cells, cytoplasmatic caspase-12 is bound to high molecular weight complexes of >1000 kDa [Cell Death Differ. 9 (2001) 125] and serum depletion leads to cleavage and detachment of caspase-12 from this high molecular weight complex. Cleavage of caspase-12 and -3 occurred almost simultaneously reaching a maximum 3-5 h after serum deprivation at which time also maximum apoptosis is found. Analysis of caspase-12 cleavage in vitro in comparison with fragmentation in vivo suggests that during death in AKR-2B cells induced by starvation, cleavage was brought about by caspase-3 at positions D24 and D94. Thus, mutated caspase-12 is differently integrated in signaling pathways of cell death and has lost its function as initiator caspase upon ER-stress. Instead, it is turned into a substrate of effector caspases. The implication of these findings in the pathological phenotype of ARK-2B mice is discussed. © 2004 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Hoppe, V., & Hoppe, J. (2004). Mutations dislocate caspase-12 from the endoplasmatic reticulum to the cytosol. FEBS Letters, 576(1–2), 277–283.

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