Differential Requirement for Caspase 9 in Apoptotic Pathways in Vivo

Cell. 1998 Aug 7;94(3):339-52. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81477-4.

Abstract

Mutation of Caspase 9 (Casp9) results in embryonic lethality and defective brain development associated with decreased apoptosis. Casp9-/- embryonic stem cells and embryonic fibroblasts are resistant to several apoptotic stimuli, including UV and gamma irradiation. Casp9-/- thymocytes are also resistant to dexamethasone- and gamma irradiation-induced apoptosis, but are surprisingly sensitive to apoptosis induced by UV irradiation or anti-CD95. Resistance to apoptosis is accompanied by retention of the mitochondrial membrane potential in mutant cells. In addition, cytochrome c is translocated to the cytosol of Casp9-/- ES cells upon UV stimulation, suggesting that Casp9 acts downstream of cytochrome c. Caspase processing is inhibited in Casp9-/- ES cells but not in thymocytes or splenocytes. Comparison of the requirement for Casp9 and Casp3 in different apoptotic settings indicates the existence of at least four different apoptotic pathways in mammalian cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases*
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / physiology*
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Enzyme Activation / genetics
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Gamma Rays
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Potentials / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Prosencephalon / abnormalities
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / radiation effects
  • Stem Cells
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology

Substances

  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Dexamethasone
  • Casp9 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases