Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 22;274(4):2072-6.

A caspase-9 variant missing the catalytic site is an endogenous inhibitor of apoptosis.

Author information

Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


It is likely that endogenous inhibitors of the apical caspases such as caspase-9 exist to prevent undesirable activation of caspase cascades. A naturally occurring variant of caspase-9 named caspase-9S was cloned from human liver. Caspase-9S is missing most of the large subunit of caspase-9, including the catalytic site, but has the intact prodomain and small subunit. Caspase-9S did not show apoptotic activity in transfection analysis. Overexpression of caspase-9S inhibited apoptosis induced by caspase-9, indicating that caspase-9S is an endogenous dominant-negative of caspase-9. Moreover, caspase-9S inhibited apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor(TNF)-alpha, TNF factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), Bax, or Fas-associated death domain-containing protein (FADD) as well as the combination of Apaf-1 and caspase-9. In vitro binding assays demonstrated that caspase-9S binds to Apaf-1 and blocks the binding of caspase-9 to Apaf-1. Coexpression of caspase-9 and caspase-9S mRNA was identified in various cell lines. Thus, caspase-9S acts as a dominant-negative inhibitor of caspase-9 activation, at least in part, by blocking Apaf-1-caspase-9 interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center