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J Biol Chem. 1996 Dec 6;271(49):31075-85.

Protease involvement in fodrin cleavage and phosphatidylserine exposure in apoptosis.

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  • 1Institute of Environmental Medicine, Division of Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, Box 210, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


A detailed kinetic analysis of three extranuclear end points of apoptosis, phosphatidylserine exposure, alpha-fodrin degradation, and plasma membrane blebbing, was performed and compared with nuclear fragmentation and the activation of the interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme (ICE)-like proteases in Jurkat T lymphocytes stimulated by anti-Fas monoclonal antibody (anti-Fas mAb) and in monocytic U937 cells stimulated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and cycloheximide. Phosphatidylserine exposure was quantitated by plasma clotting time, as well as annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate binding, and the ICE-like protease activity was examined by the cleavage of a specific fluorogenic peptide substrate Ac-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-amino-4-methylcoumarin. VAD-chloromethylketone (VAD-cmk), an inhibitor of ICE-like proteases, effectively inhibited ICE-like activity in both cell types studied, whereas the calpain inhibitor calpeptin was ineffective. VAD-cmk also effectively inhibited all three extranuclear events, as well as nuclear fragmentation, in Jurkat cells stimulated by anti-Fas monoclonal antibody, indicating that ICE-like proteases play an important role in the regulation of this apoptotic system. Calpain inhibitors were ineffective in this system. TNF-induced extranuclear and nuclear changes in U937 cells were inhibited by calpeptin but were not as effectively inhibited by VAD-cmk as in Jurkat cells. This suggests that ICE-like enzymes predominate in anti-Fas monoclonal antibody-stimulated Jurkat cells, whereas proteases affected by calpain inhibitors as well as the ICE-like enzymes are involved in the signaling of apoptotic events in TNF-induced U937 cells. Importantly, the two apoptotic systems seem to be regulated by different proteases.

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