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Virology. 1998 Apr 25;244(1):108-18.

Inhibition of ICE-like proteases inhibits apoptosis and increases virus production during adenovirus infection.

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Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


Interleukin-1b converting enzyme (ICE)-related cysteine proteases are required for E1A-induced, p53-dependent apoptosis in baby rat kidney (BRK) cells. Adenovirus E1B 19K protein, which is a potent inhibitor of apoptosis, inhibits activation of these proteases in BRK cells. E1A expression induces apoptosis during infection of human cells by mutant adenoviruses which contain nonfunctional E1B 19K. The question arises as to whether ICE-related proteases are involved in E1A-induced apoptosis during mutant adenovirus infection of human cells. To test the involvement of the cysteine proteases in E1A-induced apoptosis during productive adenovirus infection of HeLa cells, we examined whether Z-VAD-FMK, an inhibitor of ICE-related proteases, can inhibit apoptosis induced by mutant adenovirus which lacks functional E1B 19K. Z-VAD-FMK inhibited E1A-induced apoptosis in adenovirus-infected Hela cells, suggesting that the ICE family proteases are involved in this apoptosis pathway. Z-VAD-FMK also inhibited cleavage of substrates such as cysteine protease CPP32 and nuclear lamins, whereas cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase was partially inhibited during infection with an E1B 19K mutant. Inhibition of apoptosis by Z-VAD-FMK significantly enhanced production of infectious adenovirus and attenuated virus release. Thus apoptosis may be a method for the host cell to limit virus production and release at the end of the infection cycle.

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