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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Jan 7;267(1):449-55.

Analysis of Ras-dependent signals that prevent caspase-3 activation and apoptosis induced by cytokine deprivation in hematopoietic cells.

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Faculty of Bioscience, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, 226-8501, Japan.


In hematopoietic cells, Ras has been implicated in signaling pathways that prevent apoptosis triggered by deprivation of cytokines, such as interleukin-3 (IL-3). However, the mechanism whereby Ras suppresses cell death remains incompletely understood. We have investigated the role of Ras in IL-3 signal transduction by using the cytokine-dependent BaF3 cell line. Herein, we show that the activation of the pro-apoptotic protease caspase-3 upon IL-3 removal is suppressed by expression of activated Ras, which eventually prevents cell death. For caspase-3 suppression, the Raf/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)- or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt-mediated signaling pathway downstream of Ras was required. However, inhibition of both pathways did not block activated Ras-dependent suppression of cell death-associated phenotypes, such as nuclear DNA fragmentation. Thus, a pathway that is independent of both Raf/ERK and PI3-K/Akt pathways may function downstream of Ras, preventing activated caspase-3-initiated apoptotic processes. Conditional activation of c-Raf-1 also suppressed caspase-3 activation and subsequent cell death without affecting Akt activity, providing further evidence for a PI3-K/Akt-independent mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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