Nuclear Apaf-1 and cytochrome c redistribution following stress-induced apoptosis

FEBS Lett. 2002 Apr 24;517(1-3):133-8. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(02)02607-8.


Apoptotic protease activating factor-1 (Apaf-1) and cytochrome c are cofactors critical for inducing caspase-9 activation following stress-induced apoptosis. One consequence of caspase-9 activation is nuclear-cytoplasmic barrier disassembly, which is required for nuclear caspase-3 translocation. In the nucleus, caspase-3 triggers proteolysis of the caspase-activated DNA nuclease (CAD) inhibitor, causing CAD induction and subsequent DNA degradation. Here we demonstrate that apoptotic cells show perinuclear cytochrome c aggregation, which may be critical for nuclear redistribution of cytochrome c and Apaf-1. We thus indicate that the nuclear redistribution of these cofactors concurs with the previously reported caspase-9-induced nuclear disassembly, and may represent an early apoptotic hallmark.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Apoptotic Protease-Activating Factor 1
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • APAF1 protein, human
  • Apaf1 protein, mouse
  • Apoptotic Protease-Activating Factor 1
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Proteins
  • CASP9 protein, human
  • Casp9 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases