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Title: Caspase-3 is required for DNA fragmentation and morphological changes associated with apoptosis
Authors: Jänicke, R.U. 
Sprengart, M.L. 
Wati, M.R. 
Porter, A.G. 
Issue Date: 17-Apr-1998
Citation: Jänicke, R.U., Sprengart, M.L., Wati, M.R., Porter, A.G. (1998-04-17). Caspase-3 is required for DNA fragmentation and morphological changes associated with apoptosis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 273 (16) : 9357-9360. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Interleukin 1β-converting enzyme-like proteases (caspases) are crucial components of cell death pathways. Among the caspases identified, caspase-3 stands out because it is commonly activated by numerous death signals and cleaves a variety of important cellular proteins. Studies in caspase-3 knock- out mice have shown that this protease is essential for brain development. To investigate the requirement for caspase-3 in apoptosis, we took advantage of the MCF-7 breast carcinoma cell line, which we show hero has lost caspase-3 owing to a 47-base pair deletion within exon 3 of the CASP-3 gene. This deletion results in the skipping of exon 3 during pre-mRNA splicing, thereby abrogating translation of the CASP-3 mRNA. Although MCF-7 cells were still sensitive to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- or staurosporine-induced apoptosis, no DNA fragmentation was observed. In addition, MCF-7 cells undergoing cell death did not display some of the distinct morphological features typical of apoptotic cells such as shrinkage and blebbing. Introduction of the CASP-3 gene into MCF-7 cells resulted in DNA fragmentation and cellular blebbing following TNF treatment. These results indicate that although caspase-3 is not essential for TNF- or staurosporine-induced apoptosis, it is required for DNA fragmentation and some of the typical morphological changes of cells undergoing apoptosis.
Source Title: Journal of Biological Chemistry
ISSN: 00219258
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.273.16.9357
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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