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J Immunol. 2004 Apr 1;172(7):4008-17.

Siva-1 and an alternative splice form lacking the death domain, Siva-2, similarly induce apoptosis in T lymphocytes via a caspase-dependent mitochondrial pathway.

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  • 1Département de Maladies Infectieuses, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U567, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR8104, Université Paris 5, Paris, France.


Siva-1 is a death domain-containing proapoptotic protein identified as an intracellular ligand of CD27 and of the glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family-related gene, which are two members of the TNFR family expressed on lymphoid cells. Although Siva-1 expression is up-regulated in multiple pathological processes, little is known about the signaling pathway underlying the Siva-induced apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of the proapoptotic activity of Siva-1 and an alternative splice form lacking the death domain of Siva-1, Siva-2, in T lymphocytes in which Siva proteins, CD27, and glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family-related gene are primarily expressed. Overexpression of Siva proteins triggers a typical apoptotic process manifested by cell shrinkage and surface exposure of phosphatidylserine, and confirmed by ultrastructural features. Siva-induced apoptosis is related to the CD27-mediated apoptotic pathway and results in activation of both initiator and effector caspases. This pathway involves a mitochondrial step evidenced by activation of Bid and cytochrome c release, and is modulated by overexpression of Bcl-2 or Bcl-x(L). The determinants for Siva-induced apoptosis are not contained within the death domain found in the central part of Siva-1, but rather in both the N-terminal and C-terminal regions shared by both Siva proteins. The N-terminal region also participates in the translocation of both Siva proteins into the nuclear compartment. These results indicate that Siva-1 and Siva-2 mediate apoptosis in T lymphocytes via a caspase-dependent mitochondrial pathway that likely involves both cytoplasmic and nuclear events.

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