[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Granzyme B (GzmB) is a serine protease that is used by activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes to induce target cell apoptosis. Although GzmB directly cleaves the Bcl2 family member BID on target cell entry, Bid-deficient (and Bax, Bak doubly deficient) cells are susceptible to GzmB-induced death, even though they fail to release cytochrome c from mitochondria. GzmB still induces mitochondrial depolarization in Bax, Bak double knockout cells without cytochrome c release or opening of the permeability transition pore. Because GzmB cannot directly cause depolarization of isolated mitochondria, novel intracellular factor(s) may be required for GzmB to depolarize mitochondria in situ. GzmB therefore utilizes two distinct mitochondrial pathways to amplify the proapoptotic signal that it delivers to target cells.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2002; 98(26):14985-90. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Male mice deficient in BCLW, a death-protecting member of the BCL2 family, are sterile due to an arrest in spermatogenesis that is associated with a gradual loss of germ cells and Sertoli cells from the testis. As Bclw is expressed in both Sertoli cells and diploid male germ cells, it has been unclear which of these cell types requires BCLW in a cell-autonomous manner for survival. To determine whether death of Sertoli cells in Bclw mutants is influenced by the protracted loss of germ cells, we examined testes from Bclw/c-kit double mutant mice, which lack germ cells from birth. Loss of BCLW-deficient Sertoli cells occurs in the absence of germ cells, indicating that germ cell death is not required to mediate loss of Sertoli cells in BCLW-deficient mice. This suggests that Sertoli cells require BCLW in a cell-intrinsic manner for long-term survival. The loss of Sertoli cells in Bclw mutants commences shortly after Sertoli cells have become postmitotic. In situ hybridization analysis indicates that Bclw is expressed in Sertoli cells both before and after exit from mitosis. Therefore, Bclw-independent pathways promote the survival of undifferentiated, mitotic Sertoli cells. We show that BAX and BAK, two closely related death-promoting members of the BCL2 family, are expressed in Sertoli cells. To determine whether either BAX or BAK activity is required for Sertoli cell death in Bclw mutant animals, we analyzed survival of Sertoli cells in Bclw/Bax and Bclw/Bak double homozygous mutant mice. While mutation of Bak had no effect, ablation of Bax suppressed the loss of Sertoli cells in Bclw mutants. Thus, BCLW mediates survival of postmitotic Sertoli cells in the mouse by suppressing death-promoting activity of BAX.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chloroquine is a lysosomotropic agent that causes marked changes in intracellular protein processing and trafficking and extensive autophagic vacuole formation. Chloroquine may be cytotoxic and has been used as a model of lysosomal-dependent cell death. Recent studies indicate that autophagic cell death may involve Bcl-2 family members and share some features with caspase-dependent apoptotic death. To determine the molecular pathway of chloroquine-induced neuronal cell death, we examined the effects of chloroquine on primary telencephalic neuronal cultures derived from mice with targeted gene disruptions in p53, and various caspase and bcl-2 family members. In wild-type neurons, chloroquine produced concentration- and time-dependent accumulation of autophagosomes, caspase-3 activation, and cell death. Cell death was inhibited by 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor of autophagic vacuole formation, but not by Boc-Asp-FMK (BAF), a broad caspase inhibitor. Targeted gene disruptions of p53 and bax inhibited and bcl-x potentiated chloroquine-induced neuron death. Caspase-9- and caspase-3-deficient neurons were not protected from chloroquine cytotoxicity. These studies indicate that chloroquine activates a regulated cell death pathway that partially overlaps with the apoptotic cascade.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 11/2001; 60(10):937-45. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoxic-ischemic (H-I) injury to the neonatal brain has been shown to result in rapid cell death with features of acute excitotoxicity/necrosis as well as prominent delayed cell death with features of apoptosis such as marked caspase-3 activation. BAX, a pro-apoptotic molecule, has been shown to be required for apoptotic neuronal cell death during normal development but the contribution of endogenous BAX in cell death pathways following H-I injury to the developing or adult brain has not been studied.
Bax +/+, +/-, and -/- mice at post-natal day 7 were subjected to unilateral carotid ligation followed by exposure to 45 minutes of 8% oxygen. At different timepoints following H-I, brain tissue was studied by conventional histology, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, Western blotting, and enzymatic assay to determine the extent and type of cell injury as well as the amount of caspase activation.
We found that bax -/- mice had significantly less (38%) hippocampal tissue loss than mice expressing bax. Some of the remaining cell death in bax -/- mice, however, still had features of apoptosis including evidence of nuclear shrinkage and caspase-3 activation. Though bax -/- mice had significantly decreased caspase-3 activation as compared to bax expressing mice following H-I, the density of cells with activated caspase-8 in the CA3 region of the hippocampus did not differ between bax +/- and bax -/- mice.
These findings demonstrate that endogenous BAX plays a role in regulating cell death in the central nervous system (CNS) following neonatal H-I, a model of cerebral palsy. In addition, while BAX appears to modulate the caspase-3 activation following neonatal H-I, caspase-8 which is linked to death receptor activation, may contribute to apoptotic-like neuronal death in a BAX-independent manner.
Molecular Medicine 10/2001; 7(9):644-55. · 4.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic chemicals released into the environment by fossil fuel combustion. Moreover, a primary route of human exposure to PAHs is tobacco smoke. Oocyte destruction and ovarian failure occur in PAH-treated mice, and cigarette smoking causes early menopause in women. In many cells, PAHs activate the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), a member of the Per-Arnt-Sim family of transcription factors. The Ahr is also activated by dioxin, one of the most intensively studied environmental contaminants. Here we show that an exposure of mice to PAHs induces the expression of Bax in oocytes, followed by apoptosis. Ovarian damage caused by PAHs is prevented by Ahr or Bax inactivation. Oocytes microinjected with a Bax promoter-reporter construct show Ahr-dependent transcriptional activation after PAH, but not dioxin, treatment, consistent with findings that dioxin is not cytotoxic to oocytes. This difference in the action of PAHs versus dioxin is conveyed by a single base pair flanking each Ahr response element in the Bax promoter. Oocytes in human ovarian biopsies grafted into immunodeficient mice also accumulate Bax and undergo apoptosis after PAH exposure in vivo. Thus, Ahr-driven Bax transcription is a novel and evolutionarily conserved cell-death signaling pathway responsible for environmental toxicant-induced ovarian failure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytokines often deliver simultaneous, yet distinct, cell growth and cell survival signals. The 70-kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) is known to regulate cell growth by inducing protein synthesis components. We purified membrane-based p70S6K as a kinase responsible for site-specific phosphorylation of BAD, which inactivates this proapoptotic molecule. Rapamycin inhibited mitochondrial-based p70S6K, which prevented phosphorylation of Ser-136 on BAD and blocked cell survival induced by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Moreover, IGF-1-induced phosphorylation of BAD Ser-136 was abolished in p70S6K-deficient cells. Thus, p70S6K is itself a dual pathway kinase, signaling cell survival as well as growth through differential substrates which include mitochondrial BAD and the ribosomal subunit S6, respectively.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2001; 98(17):9666-70. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell death is critical for the development and orderly maintenance of cellular homeostasis in metazoans. Developmental genetics in model systems, including Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, have helped to identify and order the components of cell-death pathways. An even more complex network of apoptotic pathways has evolved in higher organisms that possess homologs within each set of cell-death regulators. Whereas biochemical studies provide details of molecular mechanisms, genetic models reveal the essential physiologic roles. Transgenic and gene-ablated mice have helped to elucidate mammalian apoptotic pathways and identify the principal effect of each cell death regulator. Here, we review the details of the apoptotic machinery as revealed by mice deficient in critical components of cell-death pathways; we concentrate on cell-death regulators classified as members of the caspase and Bcl2 families or, broadly, as adaptors and mitochondrial released factors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bid is a BH3 domain only pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family which interacts with Bax to regulate apoptosis. Bax-deficient embryos show decreased neuronal programmed cell death in vivo and resistance to cytosine arabinoside (AraC)-induced neuronal apoptosis in vitro. In this report, we demonstrate that Bid-deficient embryos show no neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and Bid-deficiency has no effect on the in vitro apoptotic response of either telencephalic neural precursor cells or neurons to AraC-induced death. We conclude that bid does not play an essential role in either naturally occurring or genotoxin-induced neuronal cell death.
Developmental Brain Research 07/2001; 128(2):187-90. · 1.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well established that programmed cell death claims up to two-thirds of the oocytes produced during gametogenesis in the developing fetal ovaries. However, the mechanisms underlying prenatal germ cell loss in females remain poorly understood. Herein we report that caspase-11 null female mice are born with a reduced number of oocyte-containing primordial follicles. This phenotype is likely due to failed cytokine processing known to occur in caspase-11 mutants since neonatal female mice lacking both interleukin (IL)-1alpha and IL-1beta also exhibit a reduced endowment of primordial follicles. In addition, germ cell death in wild-type fetal ovaries cultured ex vivo is suppressed by either cytokine, likely via ligand activation of type 1 IL-1 receptors expressed in fetal germ cells. Normal oocyte endowment can be restored in caspase-11 null female mice by simultaneous inactivation of the gene encoding the cell death executioner enzyme, caspase-2. However, caspase-2 deficiency cannot overcome gametogenic failure resulting from meiotic recombination defects in ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (Atm) null female mice. Thus, genetically distinct mechanisms exist for developmental deletion of oocytes via programmed cell death, one of which probably functions as a meiotic quality-control checkpoint that cannot be overridden.
Cell Death and Differentiation 07/2001; 8(6):614-20. · 8.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple death signals influence mitochondria during apoptosis, yet the critical initiating event for mitochondrial dysfunction in vivo has been unclear. tBID, the caspase-activated form of a "BH3-domain-only" BCL-2 family member, triggers the homooligomerization of "multidomain" conserved proapoptotic family members BAK or BAX, resulting in the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. We find that cells lacking both Bax and Bak, but not cells lacking only one of these components, are completely resistant to tBID-induced cytochrome c release and apoptosis. Moreover, doubly deficient cells are resistant to multiple apoptotic stimuli that act through disruption of mitochondrial function: staurosporine, ultraviolet radiation, growth factor deprivation, etoposide, and the endoplasmic reticulum stress stimuli thapsigargin and tunicamycin. Thus, activation of a "multidomain" proapoptotic member, BAX or BAK, appears to be an essential gateway to mitochondrial dysfunction required for cell death in response to diverse stimuli.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A fragment of the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene (Mll, HRX, ALL-1) was identified in a yeast genetic screen designed to isolate proteins that interact with the CREB-CREB-binding protein (CBP) complex. When tested for binding to CREB or CBP individually, this MLL fragment interacted directly with CBP, but not with CREB. In vitro binding experiments refined the minimal region of interaction to amino acids 2829 to 2883 of MLL, a potent transcriptional activation domain, and amino acids 581 to 687 of CBP (the CREB-binding or KIX domain). The transactivation activity of MLL was dependent on CBP, as either adenovirus E1A expression, which inhibits CBP activity, or alteration of MLL residues important for CBP interaction proved effective at inhibiting MLL-mediated transactivation. Single amino acid substitutions within the MLL activation domain revealed that five hydrophobic residues, potentially forming a hydrophobic face of an amphipathic helix, were critical for the interaction of MLL with CBP. Using purified components, we found that the MLL activation domain facilitated the binding of CBP to phosphorylated CREB. In contrast with paradigms in which factors compete for limiting quantities of CBP, these results reveal that two distinct transcription factor activation domains can cooperatively target the same motif on CBP.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 05/2001; 21(7):2249-58. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple apoptotic pathways release cytochrome c from the mitochondrial intermembrane space, resulting in the activation of downstream caspases. In vivo activation of Fas (CD95) resulted in increased permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane and depletion of cytochrome c stores. Serial measurements of oxygen consumption, NADH redox state and membrane potential revealed a loss of respiratory state transitions. This tBID-induced respiratory failure did not require any caspase activity. At early time points, re-addition of exogenous cytochrome c markedly restored respiratory functions. Over time, however, mitochondria showed increasing irreversible respiratory dysfunction as well as diminished calcium buffering. Electron microscopy and tomographic reconstruction revealed asymmetric mitochondria with blebs of herniated matrix, distended inner membrane and partial loss of cristae structure. Thus, apoptogenic redistribution of cytochrome c is responsible for a distinct program of mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction, in addition to the activation of downstream caspases.
The EMBO Journal 03/2001; 20(4):661-71. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members have been proposed to play a central role in regulating apoptosis. However, mice lacking bax display limited phenotypic abnormalities. As presented here, bak(-/-) mice were found to be developmentally normal and reproductively fit and failed to develop any age-related disorders. However, when Bak-deficient mice were mated to Bax-deficient mice to create mice lacking both genes, the majority of bax(-/-)bak(-/-) animals died perinatally with fewer than 10% surviving into adulthood. bax(-/-)bak(-/-) mice displayed multiple developmental defects, including persistence of interdigital webs, an imperforate vaginal canal, and accumulation of excess cells within both the central nervous and hematopoietic systems. Thus, Bax and Bak have overlapping roles in the regulation of apoptosis during mammalian development and tissue homeostasis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bax is a Bcl-2 family member that promotes apoptosis and counters the protective effect of Bcl-2. Bax is a downstream effector of p53-induced apoptosis and is transcriptionally regulated by p53. Moreover, the introduction of Bax deficiency accelerates the onset of tumors in transgenic mice expressing truncated large T antigen. These results implicate Bax as a tumor suppressor. Consequently, we asked whether the levels of Bax expression would influence tumor development by comparing Bax-deficient and Bax transgenic mice in the presence or absence of p53. We found that Bax-deficient mice did not display an increased incidence of spontaneous cancers when followed for > 1.5 years. In addition, Bax-deficiency did not further accelerate oncogenesis in mice also deficient in p53. We generated Lck(pr)-Bax transgenic mice to examine the effects of overexpressed BAX on T-cell development and tumorigenesis. Lck(pr)-Bax mice show increased apoptosis consistent with the pro-apoptotic function of Bax. The introduction of p53-deficiency did not interfere with BAX-induced apoptosis; this is consistent with BAX operating downstream or independent of p53. However, we found that Lck(pr)-Bax/p53-deficient mice have an increased incidence of T-cell lymphomas when compared with p53-deficient mice. The Lck(pr)-Bax transgenic mice have an increased percentage of cells in cycle. These findings extend previous work suggesting that Bcl-2 family proteins regulate proliferation as well as cell death. We conclude that BAX-induced proliferation is synergistic with a defect in apoptosis contributed by p53-deficiency. Thus, the dual roles of BAX can either accelerate or inhibit tumorigenesis depending on the genetic context.
Cancer Research 01/2001; 61(2):659-65. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many apoptotic molecules relocate subcellularly in cells undergoing apoptosis. The pro-apoptotic protein BID underwent posttranslational (rather than classic cotranslational) N-myristoylation when cleavage by caspase 8 caused exposure of a glycine residue. N-myristoylation enabled the targeting of a complex of p7 and myristoylated p15 fragments of BID to artificial membranes bearing the lipid composition of mitochondria, as well as to intact mitochondria. This post-proteolytic N-myristoylation serves as an activating switch, enhancing BID-induced release of cytochrome c and cell death.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We review data supporting a model in which activated tBID results in an allosteric activation of BAK, inducing its intramembranous oligomerization into a proposed pore for cytochrome c efflux. The BH3 domain of tBID is not required for targeting but remains on the mitochondrial surface where it is required to trigger BAK to release cytochrome c. tBID functions not as a pore-forming protein but as a membrane targeted and concentrated death ligand. tBID induces oligomerization of BAK, and both Bid and Bak knockout mice indicate the importance of this event in the release of cytochrome c. In parallel, the full pro-apoptotic member BAX, which is highly homologous to BAK, rapidly forms pores in liposomes that release intravesicular FITC-cytochrome c approximately 20A. A definable pore progressed from approximately 11A consisting of two BAX molecules to a approximately 22A pore comprised of four BAX molecules, which transported cytochrome c. Thus, an activation cascade of pro-apoptotic proteins from BID to BAK or BAX integrates the pathway from surface death receptors to the irreversible efflux of cytochrome c. Cell Death and Differentiation (2000) 7, 1166 - 1173
Cell Death and Differentiation 01/2001; 7(12):1166-73. · 8.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the absence of an apoptotic signal, BAX adopts a conformation that constrains the protein from integrating into mitochondrial membranes. Here, we show that caspases, including caspase-8, can initiate BAX insertion into mitochondria in vivo and in vitro. The cleavage product of caspase-8, tBID, induced insertion of BAX into mitochondria in vivo, and reconstitution in vitro showed that tBID, either directly or indirectly, relieved inhibition of the BAX transmembrane signal-anchor by the NH2-terminal domain, resulting in integration of BAX into mitochondrial membrane. In contrast to these findings, however, Bid-null mouse embryo fibroblasts supported Bax insertion into mitochondria in response to death signaling by either TNFalpha or E1A, despite the fact that cytochrome c release from the organelle was inhibited. We conclude, therefore, that a parallel Bid-independent pathway exists in these cells for mitochondrial insertion of Bax and that, in the absence of Bid, cytochrome c release can be uncoupled from Bax membrane insertion.
Cell Death and Differentiation 12/2000; 7(11):1101-8. · 8.37 Impact Factor