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Neurobiol Dis. 2003 Dec;14(3):557-66.

Atypical role of proximal caspase-8 in truncated Tau-induced neurite regression and neuronal cell death.

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  • 1Department of Life Science, Kwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-dong, Buk-gu, 500-712 Gwangju, Korea.

Abstract

Abnormal Tau protein is known to be closely associated with several neurodegenerative diseases. Previously, we showed that Tau was cleaved by caspase-3 to generate the cleavage product lacking the C-terminus (DeltaTau-1) during neuronal cell death. Here we characterized caspase-8-dependent neurotoxicity of the truncated Tau. Introduction of DeltaTau-1 into primary hippocampal neurons induced loss of neurites in a caspase-dependent manner. Caspase-8 and -6 were proteolytically activated during DeltaTau-1-triggered neuronal cell death, which was suppressed by IETD-fmk, caspase-8 inhibitor. Direct targeting of caspase-8 and its associated FADD with antisense approaches and transient expression of their dominant-negative mutants reduced DeltaTau-1-induced apopotosis. Cells deficient in caspase-8, but not caspase-3, became sensitized to DeltaTau-1-mediated toxicity upon reconstitution with caspase-8. In addition, ectopic expression of mitochondrial antiapoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), or inactive caspase-9 short form suppressed DeltaTau-1 toxicity. These results suggest that the truncated Tau protein activates proximal caspase-8 through FADD as a necessary step leading to neuronal cell death and neurite regression, contributing to the progression of abnormal Tau-associated neurodegeneracy.

PMID:
14678771
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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