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J Biol Chem. 1999 Mar 19;274(12):8309-15.

Caspase-dependent activation of calpain during drug-induced apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York 10016, USA.

Abstract

We have previously demonstrated that calpain is responsible for the cleavage of Bax, a proapoptotic protein, during drug-induced apoptosis of HL-60 cells (Wood, D. E., Thomas, A., Devi, L. A., Berman, Y., Beavis, R. C., Reed, J. C., and Newcomb, E. W. (1998) Oncogene 17, 1069-1078). Here we show the sequential activation of caspases and calpain during drug-induced apoptosis of HL-60 cells. Time course experiments using the topoisomerase I inhibitor 9-amino-20(S)-camptothecin revealed that cleavage of caspase-3 substrates poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and the retinoblastoma protein as well as DNA fragmentation occurred several hours before calpain activation and Bax cleavage. Pretreatment with the calpain inhibitor calpeptin blocked calpain activation and Bax cleavage but did not inhibit PARP cleavage, DNA fragmentation, or 9-amino-20(S)-camptothecin-induced morphological changes and cell death. Pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (Z-VAD-fmk) inhibited PARP cleavage, DNA fragmentation, calpain activation, and Bax cleavage and increased cell survival by 40%. Interestingly, Z-VAD-fmk-treated cells died in a caspase- and calpain-independent manner that appeared morphologically distinct from apoptosis. Our results suggest that excessive or uncontrolled calpain activity may play a role downstream of and distinct from caspases in the degradation phase of apoptosis.

PMID:
10075737
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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