Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Sci STKE. 2006 Oct 24;2006(358):pe44.

Caspase inhibitors promote alternative cell death pathways.

Author information

1
Molecular Signalling and Cell Death Unit, Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent, Belgium. peter.vandenabeele@dmbr.ugent.be

Abstract

The use of caspase inhibitors has revealed the existence of alternative backup cell death programs for apoptosis. The broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk modulates the three major types of cell death. Addition of zVAD-fmk blocks apoptotic cell death, sensitizes cells to necrotic cell death, and induces autophagic cell death. Several studies have shown a crucial role for the kinase RIP1 and the adenosine nucleotide translocator (ANT)-cyclophilin D (CypD) complex in necrotic cell death. The underlying mechanism of zVAD-fmk-mediated sensitization to necrotic cell death involves the inhibition of caspase-8-mediated proteolysis of RIP1 and disturbance of the ANT-CypD interaction. RIP1 is also involved in autophagic cell death. Caspase inhibitors and knockdown studies have revealed negative roles for catalase and caspase-8 in autophagic cell death. The positive role of RIP1 and the negative role of caspase-8 in both necrotic and autophagic cell death suggest that the pathways of these two types of cell death are interconnected. Necrotic cell death represents a rapid cellular response involving mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, decreased adenosine triphosphate concentration, and other cellular insults, whereas autophagic cell death first starts as a survival attempt by cleaning up ROS-damaged mitochondria. However, when this process occurs in excess, autophagy itself becomes cytotoxic and eventually leads to autophagic cell death. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of these alternative cell death pathways may provide therapeutic tools to combat cell death associated with neurodegenerative diseases, ischemia-reperfusion pathologies, and infectious diseases, and may also facilitate the development of alternative cytotoxic strategies in cancer treatment.

PMID:
17062895
DOI:
10.1126/stke.3582006pe44
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center