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Int Immunol. 2006 Jul;18(7):1029-42. Epub 2006 May 23.

CD38 induces apoptosis of a murine pro-B leukemic cell line by a tyrosine kinase-dependent but ADP-ribosyl cyclase- and NAD glycohydrolase-independent mechanism.

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Trudeau Institute, 154 Algonquin Avenue, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, USA.


Cross-linking of CD38 on hematopoietic cells induces activation, proliferation and differentiation of mature T and B cells and mediates apoptosis of myeloid and lymphoid progenitor cells. In addition to acting as a signaling receptor, CD38 is also an enzyme capable of producing several calcium-mobilizing metabolites, including cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose (cADPR). It has been previously postulated that the calcium-mobilizing metabolites produced by CD38 may regulate its receptor-based activities. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether the enzyme activity of CD38 controls the apoptosis of an anti-CD38-stimulated leukemic B cell. We show that anti-CD38-induced apoptosis of Ba/F3 cells, a murine pro-B cell line, is not affected by blocking the calcium-mobilizing activity of cADPR or by inhibiting intracellular or extracellular calcium mobilization. In addition, we demonstrate that blocking CD38 enzyme activity with 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-nicotinamide arabinoside adenine dinucleotide has no effect on apoptosis and that Ba/F3 cells expressing catalytically inactive mutant forms of CD38 still undergo apoptosis upon CD38 cross-linking. Instead, we find that anti-CD38-induced apoptosis is dependent on tyrosine kinase and caspase activation, and that this process appears to be potentiated by the presence of membrane microdomains. Thus, the receptor-mediated functions of CD38 can be separated from its enzyme activity in a murine leukemic cell line, suggesting that CD38 plays multiple, but independent, biologic roles.

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