Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Cell Biol. 2000;78(4):405-14.

DNases and apoptosis.

Author information

Unité 450 INSERM, Vieillissement et Pathologie de la Rétine, Paris, France.


Here we review the different apoptotic DNases. From a functional point of view, DNases implicated in apoptosis may be classified into three groups: the Ca2+/Mg2+ endonucleases, the Mg2+-endonucleases, and the cation-independent endonucleases. The first group includes DNase I which has no specificity for the linker region, DNase gamma which has some homology with DNase I, and other DNases which cleave DNA in the linker region. Both DNase I and DNase gamma have been cloned. The other nucleases of this category have dispersed molecular weights. Their sequences are unknown and it is difficult to determine their role(s) in apoptosis. It seems that different pathways are present and that these nucleases may be activated either by caspases or serine proteases. The caspase 3 activated DNase (CAD, CPAN, or DFF40) belongs to the Mg2+-dependent endonucleases. DNase II belongs to the third group of acid endonucleases or cation-independent DNases. We have shown the involvement of DNase II in lens cell differentiation. Recently, the molecular structure of two different enzymes has been elucidated, one of which has a signal peptide and appears to be secreted. The other, called L-DNase II, is an intracellular protein having two enzymatic activities; in its native form, it is an anti-protease, and after posttranslational modification, it becomes a nuclease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center