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J Neurosci Res. 1998 Jun 1;52(5):491-7.

Need for caspase-2 in apoptosis of growth-factor-deprived PC12 cells.

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Department of Neurobiochemistry, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.


Previous studies have shown that caspases (proteases related to interleukin-1beta converting enzyme) are needed for the death of trophic factor-deprived PC12 cells. However, the protease involved in this process has not been identified. The results presented here strongly suggest that caspase-2 (Nedd2/Ich-1) plays a major role in the death of serum-deprived PC12 cells. We show that in PC12 cells overexpression of caspase-2 induces cell death, serum deprivation induces processing (i.e., activation) of the 48-kDa pro-caspase-2, and stable expression of caspase-2 antisense RNA inhibits apoptosis induced by serum deprivation. In addition, overexpression of bcl-2, which prevents this death process, also inhibits the processing of pro-caspase-2, suggesting that bcl-2 acts upstream of pro-caspase-2 activation.

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