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Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Sep;32(9):400-6. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Are promyelocytic leukaemia protein nuclear bodies a scaffold for caspase-2 programmed cell death?

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National Center for Biotechnology, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. C/Darwin n3, 28049, Madrid, Spain.


Promyelocytic leukaemia protein nuclear bodies (PML-NBs) are nuclear structures whose function is still poorly understood. They are implicated in various biological functions, such as viral infection, cellular transformation, innate immunity and growth control, and they might be dynamic hubs sensing stress and DNA damage. Data from PML(-/-) mice suggest that PML-NBs are involved in apoptosis via caspase-independent mechanisms, probably involving p53-dependent and independent pathways. However, the recently demonstrated co-localization of caspase-2 within the PML-NB nuclear structures presents a new paradigm for nuclear cell death. Here, we show that these nuclear structures have a protein known as SP100 that could contain a caspase recruitment domain (CARD). If verified experimentally, this discovery will suggest a mechanism by which caspase-2 could be recruited into the complex and ultimately lead to apoptosis.

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