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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Dec 21;364(3):495-501. Epub 2007 Oct 15.

Cleavage of BNIP-2 and BNIP-XL by caspases.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy and Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


BNIP-2 and BNIP-XL are BCH domain-containing proteins that are implicated in programmed cell death. It has been reported that overexpression of BNIP-2 in neuroblastoma cell lines resulted in massive cell death, whereas BNIP-XL was upregulated during NGF-depletion-induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma and was involved in the regulation of differentiation, survival, and aggressiveness of tumor cells. Despite their importance in apoptosis, our understanding of BNIP-2 containing proteins is limited. In this communication, we demonstrate that both BNIP-2 and BNIP-XL are cleaved by caspases during apoptosis. Significantly, the caspase cleavage sites on BNIP-2 are located on its N-terminal EF-hand motif, while that on BNIP-XL is located upstream of the C-terminal BCH domain. Our results suggest that the caspase-mediated cleavage of BNIP-2 and BNIP-XL could result in the release of the BCH domain or smaller fragments that are crucial for their proapoptotic activities.

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