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Science. 1997 Dec 12;278(5345):1966-8.

Conversion of Bcl-2 to a Bax-like death effector by caspases.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

Caspases are a family of cysteine proteases implicated in the biochemical and morphological changes that occur during apoptosis (programmed cell death). The loop domain of Bcl-2 is cleaved at Asp34 by caspase-3 (CPP32) in vitro, in cells overexpressing caspase-3, and after induction of apoptosis by Fas ligation and interleukin-3 withdrawal. The carboxyl-terminal Bcl-2 cleavage product triggered cell death and accelerated Sindbis virus-induced apoptosis, which was dependent on the BH3 homology and transmembrane domains of Bcl-2. Inhibitor studies indicated that cleavage of Bcl-2 may further activate downstream caspases and contribute to amplification of the caspase cascade. Cleavage-resistant mutants of Bcl-2 had increased protection from interleukin-3 withdrawal and Sindbis virus-induced apoptosis. Thus, cleavage of Bcl-2 by caspases may ensure the inevitability of cell death.

PMID:
9395403
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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