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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 15;280(15):15122-30. Epub 2005 Feb 8.

ASC-mediated NF-kappaB activation leading to interleukin-8 production requires caspase-8 and is inhibited by CLARP.

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  • 1Center for the Development of Molecular Target Drugs, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takaramachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0934, Japan.


ASC is an adaptor molecule that mediates apoptotic and inflammatory signals from several Apaf-1-like molecules, including CARD12/Ipaf, cryopyrin/PYPAF1, PYPAF5, PYPAF7, and NALP1. To characterize the signaling pathway mediated by ASC, we established cell lines in which muramyl dipeptide, the bacterial component recognized by another Apaf-1-like molecule, Nod2, induced an interaction between a CARD12-Nod2 chimeric protein and ASC, and elicited cell autonomous NF-kappaB activation. This response required caspase-8, and was suppressed by CLARP/FLIP, an inhibitor of caspase-8. The catalytic activity of caspase-8 was required for the ASC-mediated NF-kappaB activation when caspase-8 was expressed at an endogenous level, although it was not essential when caspase-8 was overexpressed. In contrast, FADD, the adaptor protein linking Fas and caspase-8, was not required for this response. Consistently, ASC recruited caspase-8 and CLARP but not FADD and Nod2 to its speck-like aggregates in cells. Finally, muramyl dipeptide induced interleukin-8 production in MAIL8 cells. These results are the first to indicate that caspase-8 plays an important role in the ASC-mediated NF-kappaB activation, and that the ASC-mediated NF-kappaB activation actually induces physiologically relevant gene expression.

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