N‐terminal cleavage of Bax by calpain generates a potent proapoptotic 18‐kDa fragment that promotes Bcl‐2‐independent cytochrome C release and apoptotic cell death

N‐terminal cleavage of Bax by calpain generates a potent proapoptotic 18‐kDa fragment that... Upon apoptosis induction, the proapoptotic protein Bax is translocated from the cytosol to mitochondria, where it promotes release of cytochrome c, a caspase‐activating protein. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Bax triggers cytochrome c release are unknown. Here we report that before the initiation of apoptotic execution by etoposide or staurosporin, an active calpain activity cleaves Bax at its N‐terminus, generating a potent proapoptotic 18‐kDa fragment (Bax/p18). Both the calpain‐mediated Bax cleavage activity and the Bax/p18 fragment were found in the mitochondrial membrane‐enriched fraction. Cleavage of Bax was followed by release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, activation of caspase‐3, cleavage of poly(ADP‐ribose) polymerase, and fragmentation of DNA. Unlike the full‐length Bax, Bax/p18 did not interact with the antiapoptotic Bcl‐2 protein in the mitochondrial fraction of drug‐treated cells. Pretreatment with a specific calpain inhibitor calpeptin inhibited etoposide‐induced calpain activation, Bax cleavage, cytochrome c release, and caspase‐3 activation. In contrast, transfection of a cloned Bax/p18 cDNA into multiple human cancer cell lines targeted Bax/p18 to mitochondria, which was accompanied by release of cytochrome c and induction of caspase‐3‐mediated apoptosis that was not blocked by overexpression of Bcl‐2 protein. Therefore, Bax/p18 has a cytochrome c–releasing activity that promotes cell death independent of Bcl‐2. Finally, Bcl‐2 overexpression inhibited etoposide‐induced calpain activation, Bax cleavage, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis. Our results suggest that the mitochondrial calpain plays an essential role in apoptotic commitment by cleaving Bax and generating the Bax/p18 fragment, which in turn mediates cytochrome c release and initiates the apoptotic execution. J. Cell. Biochem. 80:53–72, 2000. © 2000 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cellular Biochemistry Wiley

N‐terminal cleavage of Bax by calpain generates a potent proapoptotic 18‐kDa fragment that promotes Bcl‐2‐independent cytochrome C release and apoptotic cell death

Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, Volume 80 (1) – Jan 1, 2001

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/n-terminal-cleavage-of-bax-by-calpain-generates-a-potent-proapoptotic-4AiWAlpKom
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ISSN
0730-2312
eISSN
1097-4644
D.O.I.
10.1002/1097-4644(20010101)80:1<53::AID-JCB60>3.3.CO;2-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Upon apoptosis induction, the proapoptotic protein Bax is translocated from the cytosol to mitochondria, where it promotes release of cytochrome c, a caspase‐activating protein. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Bax triggers cytochrome c release are unknown. Here we report that before the initiation of apoptotic execution by etoposide or staurosporin, an active calpain activity cleaves Bax at its N‐terminus, generating a potent proapoptotic 18‐kDa fragment (Bax/p18). Both the calpain‐mediated Bax cleavage activity and the Bax/p18 fragment were found in the mitochondrial membrane‐enriched fraction. Cleavage of Bax was followed by release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, activation of caspase‐3, cleavage of poly(ADP‐ribose) polymerase, and fragmentation of DNA. Unlike the full‐length Bax, Bax/p18 did not interact with the antiapoptotic Bcl‐2 protein in the mitochondrial fraction of drug‐treated cells. Pretreatment with a specific calpain inhibitor calpeptin inhibited etoposide‐induced calpain activation, Bax cleavage, cytochrome c release, and caspase‐3 activation. In contrast, transfection of a cloned Bax/p18 cDNA into multiple human cancer cell lines targeted Bax/p18 to mitochondria, which was accompanied by release of cytochrome c and induction of caspase‐3‐mediated apoptosis that was not blocked by overexpression of Bcl‐2 protein. Therefore, Bax/p18 has a cytochrome c–releasing activity that promotes cell death independent of Bcl‐2. Finally, Bcl‐2 overexpression inhibited etoposide‐induced calpain activation, Bax cleavage, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis. Our results suggest that the mitochondrial calpain plays an essential role in apoptotic commitment by cleaving Bax and generating the Bax/p18 fragment, which in turn mediates cytochrome c release and initiates the apoptotic execution. J. Cell. Biochem. 80:53–72, 2000. © 2000 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Journal

Journal of Cellular BiochemistryWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2001

Keywords: Bax; Bcl‐2; calpain; cytochrome c; apoptosis

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off