Fujita E, Kouroku Y, Jimbo A, Isoai A, Maruyama K, Momoi T.
Divisions of Development and Differentiation, National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.
Excess endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induces processing of caspase-12, which is located in the ER, and cell death. However, little is known about the relationship between caspase-12 processing and cell death. We prepared antisera against putative caspase-12 cleavage sites (anti-m12D318 and anti-m12D341) and showed that overexpression of caspase-12 induced autoprocessing at D(318) but did not induce cell death. Mutation analysis confirmed that D(318) was a unique autoprocessing site. In contrast, tunicamycin, one of the ER stress stimuli, induced caspase-12 processing at the N-terminal region and the C-terminal region (both at D(318) and D(341)) and cell death. Anti-m12D318 and anti-m12D341 immunoreactivities were located in the ER of the tunicamycin-treated cells, and some immunoreactivities were located around and in the nuclei of the apoptotic cells. Thus, processing at the N-terminal region may be necessary for the translocation of processed caspase-12 into nuclei and cell death induced by ER stress. Some of the caspase-12 processed at the N-terminal and C-terminal regions may directly participate in the apoptotic events in nuclei.
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