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Oncogene. 1997 Jul 17;15(3):285-90.

Involvement of caspase-4(-like) protease in Fas-mediated apoptotic pathway.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Biomedical Research Center, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


Proteases of the caspase family, especially caspase-1 (ICE)(-like), caspase-3 (CPP32/Yama/apopain)(-like) and caspase-8 (MACH/FLICE/Mch5) proteases, are implicated in Fas (APO-1/CD95)-mediated apoptosis. Here, we show that the caspase-4 (TX/ICH-2/ICE(rel)II)(-like) protease, another member of the caspase family, is also involved in Fas-mediated apoptosis, based upon the observations: (i) caspase-4 is processed in response to an agonistic anti-Fas antibody treatment, (ii) overexpression of a mutant caspase-4 with active site mutations in both p20 and p10 subunits delays Fas-mediated apoptosis, (iii) microinjected anti-caspase-4 antibodies inhibit Fas-mediated apoptosis. Together with our observations that the mutant caspase-4 inhibits the Fas-mediated activation of caspase-3(-like) proteases and purified caspase-4 cleaves pro-caspase-3 to generate a subunit of active form, these results suggest that Fas-mediated apoptosis is driven by a caspase cascade in which the caspase-4(-like) protease transmits a death signal from caspase-8 to caspase-3(-like) proteases probably through directly cleaving pro-caspase-3(-like) proteases.

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