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Dev Biol. 1999 Mar 1;207(1):14-25.

gas2 is a multifunctional gene involved in the regulation of apoptosis and chondrogenesis in the developing mouse limb.

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1
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China. Kaholee@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

The growth-arrest-specific 2 (gas2) gene was initially identified on account of its high level of expression in murine fibroblasts under growth arrest conditions, followed by downregulation upon reentry into the cell cycle (Schneider et al., Cell 54, 787-793, 1988). In this study, the expression patterns of the gas2 gene and the Gas2 peptide were established in the developing limbs of 11.5- to 14. 5-day mouse embryos. It was found that gas2 was expressed in the interdigital tissues, the chondrogenic regions, and the myogenic regions. Low-density limb culture and Brdu incorporation assays revealed that gas2 might play an important role in regulating chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, it might play a similar role during limb myogenesis. In addition to chondrogenesis and myogeneis, gas2 is involved in the execution of the apoptotic program in hindlimb interdigital tissues-by acting as a death substrate for caspase enzymes. TUNEL analysis demonstrated that the interdigital tissues underwent apoptosis between 13.5 and 15.5 days. Exactly at these time points, the C-terminal domain of the Gas2 peptide was cleaved as revealed by Western blot analysis. Moreover, pro-caspase-3 (an enzyme that can process Gas2) was cleaved into its active form in the interdigital tissues. The addition of zVAD-fmk, a caspase enzyme inhibitor, to 12.5-day-old hindlimbs maintained in organ culture revealed that the treatment inhibited interdigital cell death. This inhibition correlated with the absence of the Gas2 peptide and pro-caspase-3 cleavage. The data suggest that Gas2 might be involved in the execution of the apoptotic process.

PMID:
10049561
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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