A G Yakovlev

Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., DC, United States

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Publications (37)164.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The expression levels of caspase-3, a major contributor to the execution of neuronal apoptosis, markedly decrease in the process of brain maturation. We have previously cloned the rat caspase-3 gene promoter and identified its essential regulatory elements. In the present study, we extended previous findings by examining transcriptional regulation of caspase-3 expression in the rat brain of two different ages, corresponding to the immature and mature brain. In particular, we determined that the rate of transcription initiation substantially declines during brain maturation. Furthermore, we established that mRNA levels of Ets1, Ets2, and Sp1 do not change in the brain with maturation, suggesting that these transcription factors do not contribute to age-dependent caspase-3 down-regulation. Hence, we examined a role of DNA methylation and histone modification in this process. Utilizing bisulfite DNA sequencing, we determined the presence of age-dependent differentially methylated fragments within the caspase-3 promoter region. Strikingly, differentially methylated CpG sites correspond to the predicted binding sites for a number of transcription factors that have been previously shown to be involved in neuronal development and differentiation. Moreover, using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we found that mature brains displayed significantly lower levels of histone 3 acetylated Lys14 and histone 4 acetylated Lys5, 8, 12, and 16. This observation is consistent with the decreased level of expression of caspase-3 in the mature brain. Together with our observation that histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A, increased the level of caspase-3 mRNA in cortical neurons in vitro, these results further indicate an important role of epigenetic factors in the regulation of caspase-3 gene expression.
    Gene 11/2009; 450(1-2):103-8. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Degradation of chromatin into internucleosomal fragments, a prevailing hallmark of apoptosis in most cells and tissues, has been tightly associated with a Ca2+ and Mg2+-dependent endonuclease activity. Several candidate enzymes have been identified as important players in this process. Several decades ago, murine and bovine Ca2+ and Mg2+-dependent endonucleases were observed to be inhibited by poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in a reaction mediated by PARP-1. PARP-1 is one of the earliest nuclear enzymes to be targeted for degradation by caspases during apoptosis. Such cleavage is believed to prevent energy depletion in response to DNA damage generated as a result of an activation of apoptotic endonucleases. We have recently identified, cloned, and characterized DNAS1L3 as the human homolog of the unidentified bovine poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation-regulated endonuclease. In this review, we will describe the efforts of our and other laboratories in the elucidation of a role for this endonuclease during apoptosis. We will discuss its dependence on Ca2+ and Mg2+, its inhibition by poly (ADP-ribosyl)ation, and its requirement for PARP-1 cleavage, and subsequent inactivation of PARP-1, for optimal activity during apoptosis.
    01/2008: pages 118-131;
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    ABSTRACT: Glycoprotein 120 (gp120) from the T-tropic strain of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 has been shown to cause neuronal apoptosis through activation of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. Therefore, reducing CXCR4 expression may prevent gp120-mediated apoptosis. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is known to reduce both gp120 neurotoxicity and CXCR4 expression in vitro. The scope of this work is to establish whether BDNF is neuroprotective against gp120 in vivo and, if so, whether this effect correlates with its ability to down-regulate CXCR4. Serotype 2 adeno-associated viral vector encoding for BDNF (rAAV-BDNF) or control vector was microinjected into the striata of adult rats. Two weeks later gp120 was injected into the same striatum, and apoptosis determined. Pretreatment with rAAV-BDNF prior to gp120 microinjection prevented caspase-3 activation as well as in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labelling in the striatum and substantia nigra. In addition, rAAV-BDNF reversed the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity induced by gp120 in both areas. CXCR4 expression was then determined by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, and found to be decreased in striata of rAAV-BDNF-treated rats. Conversely, BDNF heterozygous mice exhibited an increase in CXCR4 mRNA levels compared to wild-type littermates. Our data suggest that down-regulation of CXCR4 expression may contribute to the neuroprotective activity of BDNF against gp120 toxicity in the basal ganglia.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 05/2007; 25(8):2275-84. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Axon regeneration is substantially regulated by gene expression and cytoskeleton remodeling. Here we show that the tumor suppressor protein p53 is required for neurite outgrowth in cultured cells including primary neurons as well as for axonal regeneration in mice. These effects are mediated by two newly identified p53 transcriptional targets, the actin-binding protein Coronin 1b and the GTPase Rab13, both of which associate with the cytoskeleton and regulate neurite outgrowth. We also demonstrate that acetylation of lysine 320 (K320) of p53 is specifically involved in the promotion of neurite outgrowth and in the regulation of the expression of Coronin 1b and Rab13. Thus, in addition to its recognized role in neuronal apoptosis, surprisingly, p53 is required for neurite outgrowth and axonal regeneration, likely through a different post-translational pathway. These observations may suggest a novel therapeutic target for promoting regenerative responses following peripheral or central nervous system injuries.
    The EMBO Journal 10/2006; 25(17):4084-96. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A functional relationship between the apoptotic endonuclease DNAS1L3 and the chemotherapeutic drug VP-16 was established. The lymphoma cell line, Daudi, exhibited a significant resistance to VP-16 treatment in comparison to the lymphoma/leukemia cell line, U-937. While U-937 cells degraded their DNA into internucleosomal fragments, Daudi cells failed to undergo such fragmentation in response to the drug. Activation of both caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation factor was not sufficient to trigger internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in Daudi cells. No correlation was found between expression levels of topoisomerase-II, Pgp, Bcl-2, Bax, or Bad and decreased sensitivity of Daudi cells to VP-16. Daudi cells failed to express DNAS1L3 and ectopic expression of this protein significantly sensitized the cells to VP-16. An enhancement of caspase-3 activity and collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential underlie DNAS1L3-mediated sensitization of Daudi cells to VP-16, which may be a direct result of DNAS1L3-mediated increase in PARP-1-activating DNA breaks after VP-16 treatment. Our results suggest that DNAS1L3 plays an active role in lymphoma cell sensitization to VP-16 and that its deficiency may constitute a novel mechanism of drug resistance in these cells.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2006; 341(2):653-62. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Following spinal cord injury, there are numerous changes in gene expression that appear to contribute to either neurodegeneration or reparative processes. We utilized high density oligonucleotide microarrays to examine temporal gene profile changes after spinal cord injury in rats with the goal of identifying novel factors involved in neural plasticity. By comparing mRNA changes that were coordinately regulated over time with genes previously implicated in nerve regeneration or plasticity, we found a gene cluster whose members are involved in cell adhesion processes, synaptic plasticity, and/or cytoskeleton remodeling. This group, which included the small GTPase Rab13 and actin-binding protein Coronin 1b, showed significantly increased mRNA expression from 7-28 days after trauma. Overexpression in vitro using PC-12, neuroblastoma, and DRG neurons demonstrated that these genes enhance neurite outgrowth. Moreover, RNAi gene silencing for Coronin 1b or Rab13 in NGF-treated PC-12 cells markedly reduced neurite outgrowth. Coronin 1b and Rab13 proteins were expressed in cultured DRG neurons at the cortical cytoskeleton, and at growth cones along with the pro-plasticity/regeneration protein GAP-43. Finally, Coronin 1b and Rab13 were induced in the injured spinal cord, where they were also co-expressed with GAP-43 in neurons and axons. Modulation of these proteins may provide novel targets for facilitating restorative processes after spinal cord injury.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2005; 280(3):2084-91. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) may result in part from axon outgrowth and related plasticity through coordinated changes at the molecular level. We employed microarray analysis to identify a subset of genes the expression patterns of which were temporally coregulated and correlated to functional recovery after SCI. Steady-state mRNA levels of this synchronously regulated gene cluster were depressed in both ventral and dorsal horn neurons within 24 h after injury, followed by strong re-induction during the following 2 wk, which paralleled functional recovery. The identified cluster includes neuritin, attractin, microtubule-associated protein 1a, and myelin oligodendrocyte protein genes. Transcriptional and protein regulation of this novel gene cluster was also evaluated in spinal cord tissue and in single neurons and was shown to play a role in axonal plasticity. Finally, in vitro transfection experiments in primary dorsal root ganglion cells showed that cluster members act synergistically to drive neurite outgrowth.
    The FASEB Journal 02/2005; 19(1):153-4. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamide or AEA) is an endocannabinoid that acts at vanilloid (VR1) as well as at cannabinoid (CB1/CB2) and NMDA receptors. Here, we show that AEA, in a dose-dependent manner, causes cell death in cultured rat cortical neurons and cerebellar granule cells. Inhibition of CB1, CB2, VR1 or NMDA receptors by selective antagonists did not reduce AEA neurotoxicity. Anandamide-induced neuronal cell loss was associated with increased intracellular Ca(2+), nuclear condensation and fragmentation, decreases in mitochondrial membrane potential, translocation of cytochrome c, and upregulation of caspase-3-like activity. However, caspase-3, caspase-8 or caspase-9 inhibitors, or blockade of protein synthesis by cycloheximide did not alter anandamide-related cell death. Moreover, AEA caused cell death in caspase-3-deficient MCF-7 cell line and showed similar cytotoxic effects in caspase-9 dominant-negative, caspase-8 dominant-negative or mock-transfected SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Anandamide upregulated calpain activity in cortical neurons, as revealed by alpha-spectrin cleavage, which was attenuated by the calpain inhibitor calpastatin. Calpain inhibition significantly limited anandamide-induced neuronal loss and associated cytochrome c release. These data indicate that AEA neurotoxicity appears not to be mediated by CB1, CB2, VR1 or NMDA receptors and suggest that calpain activation, rather than intrinsic or extrinsic caspase pathways, may play a critical role in anandamide-induced cell death.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 11/2004; 11(10):1121-32. · 8.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular stress leads to DNA damage and activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in which translocation of mitochondrial cytochrome c to the cytosol plays a critical role. Previous studies have suggested alternative mechanisms responsible for this process. We examined initiation mechanisms of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway using human neuroblastoma and breast cancer cells. Results indicated that translocation of cytochrome c does not require prior activation of caspases but rather depends on activation of specific BCL-2 family members, depending upon the type of death signal. Thus, DNA damage-induced apoptosis requires new protein synthesis, accumulation of p53 tumor suppressor protein, and p53-dependent induction of BOK and NOXA genes, while a role for BAX in this pathway is not essential. In contrast, apoptosis induced by staurosporine does not require protein synthesis but is characterized by translocation of BAX. Based on these findings, we propose a model of the intrinsic apoptotic cascade induced by DNA damage where proapoptotic BOK substitutes for a function of BAX.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2004; 279(27):28367-74. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    Alexander G Yakovlev, Alan I Faden
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    ABSTRACT: It has been increasingly recognized that cell death phenotypes and their molecular mechanisms are highly diverse. Necrosis is no longer considered a single entity, passively mediated by energy failure. Moreover, caspase-dependent apoptosis is not the only pathway involved in programmed cell death or even the only apoptotic mechanism. Recent experimental work emphasizes the diverse and interrelated nature of cell death mechanisms. Thus, there are both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent forms of apoptosis, which may differ morphologically as well as mechanistically. There are also necrotic-like phenotypes that require de novo protein synthesis and are, therefore, forms of programmed cell death. In addition, forms of cell death showing certain morphological features of both necrosis and apoptosis have been identified, leading to the term aponecrosis. Considerable experimental evidence also shows that modulation of one form of cell death may lead to another. Together, these observations underscore the need to substantially revise our conceptions about neuroprotection strategies. Use of multiple treatments that target different cell death cascades, or single agents that moderate multiple cell death pathways, is likely to lead to more effective neuroprotection for clinical disorders.
    NeuroRx 02/2004; 1(1):5-16.
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    ABSTRACT: C(2)-ceramide, a cell-permeable analog of ceramide, caused cell death in cultured rat cortical neuronal cells. C(2)-ceramide-induced neuronal loss was accompanied by upregulation of caspase-3 activity, measured by cleavage of its fluorogenic substrate Ac-DEVD-AMC. Similar results were obtained when cortical neuronal cultures were treated with sphingomyelinase, an enzyme responsible for ceramide formation in the cell. Morphological evaluation of C(2)-ceramide-treated cortical neurons showed nuclear condensation and fragmentation as visualized by Hoechst 33258 staining. Co-administration of the selective caspase-3 inhibitor z-DEVD-fmk or caspase-9 inhibitor z-LEHD-fmk significantly reduced C(2)-ceramide-induced cell death, while co-application of the caspase-8, inhibitor z-IETD-fmk, was without effect. Immunoblot analysis of protein extracts from C(2)-ceramide-treated cortical neuronal cultures revealed upregulation of active caspase-9 and caspase-3 protein levels, whereas presence of active caspase-8 immunoreactivity was undetectable in this system. Administration of C(2)-ceramide to SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells also caused apoptotic cell death. Moreover, ceramide-induced cell death was significantly decreased in caspase-9 dominant-negative SH-SY5Y cells, while both caspase-8 dominant-negative cultures and mock-transfected cells showed equally high levels of cell death following C(2)-ceramide treatment. Taken together, these data suggest that neuronal death induced by ceramide may be linked to the caspase-9/caspase-3 regulated intrinsic pathway of cellular apoptosis.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2002; 299(2):201-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytotoxic effect of the chemotherapeutic drug etoposide (VP-16) is thought to result from its ability to induce DNA damage and thereby to trigger apoptosis. Internucleosomal DNA fragmentation occurs late during apoptosis in many cell types. However, whereas human osteosarcoma cells undergo internucleosomal DNA fragmentation during staurosporine-induced apoptosis, they fail to do so in response to VP-16. Recently, we showed that these cells also do not express the poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation-regulated Ca(2+)- and Mg(2+)-dependent endonuclease DNAS1L3. The possibility that this deficiency underlies the failure of these cells to undergo internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in response to VP-16 was investigated. The proteolytic processing and consequent activation of procaspase-3, cleavage of the inhibitory subunit of DNA fragmentation factor, and the degradation of DNA into 50-kb fragments occurred similarly in osteosarcoma cells exposed to either staurosporine or VP-16. However, the additional processing of the 50-kb DNA fragments to oligonucleosomal fragments was not apparent in the VP-16-treated cells. Ectopic expression of DNAS1L3 conferred on osteosarcoma cells the ability to undergo VP-16-induced internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Furthermore, expression of DNAS1L3 markedly potentiated the cytotoxic effect of VP-16 in these cells. Both DNAS1L3-mediated and staurosporine-induced internucleosomal DNA fragmentation were Ca(2+) dependent, but only the DNAS1L3-mediated DNA cleavage was blocked by expression of a caspase-3-resistant mutant of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1. The present work results suggest a direct relation between the activity of a chemotherapeutic drug (VP-16) and a specific endonuclease (DNAS1L3). They also indicate that internucleosomal DNA fragmentation plays an active role in apoptosis and that the failure of cancer cells to undergo such DNA degradation may contribute to the development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs.
    Cancer Research 09/2002; 62(15):4439-44. · 8.65 Impact Factor
  • Wenfang Liu, Geping Wang, Alexander G Yakovlev
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    ABSTRACT: Caspase-3 is the major effector in apoptosis triggered by various stimuli. Previous studies demonstrated a significant increase in transcriptional activity of the caspase-3 gene during neuronal apoptosis. Recent findings suggest that differential expression of the caspase-3 gene may underlie the regulation of apoptotic susceptibility during brain development and after acute injury to the mature brain. We identified and cloned the rat caspase-3 gene promoter, determined its structure, and examined its regulation during a course of apoptosis in PC12 cells. Results demonstrate that this promoter lacks a TATA-box and contains a cluster of Sp1 elements and multiple transcription start sites. The first identified transcription start site is located 87-bp upstream from the first splicing site. A role of Sp1 elements in the regulation of caspase-3 promoter activity is demonstrated by the inhibition of Sp1 binding using mithramycin A. Results of deletion analysis show that an Ets-1-like element located between nucleotides -1646 and -1632 relative to the most extended transcription start site is necessary to achieve sustained transcriptional activity. Homology analysis revealed that the 5'-flanking region of the human caspase-3 gene exhibits significant similarity to a regulatory region of the rat gene.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2002; 277(10):8273-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) comprises DFF45 and DFF40 subunits, the former of which acts as an inhibitor of the latter (the catalytic subunit) and whose cleavage by caspase-3 results in DFF activation. Disruption of the DFF45 gene blocks the generation of 50-kb DNA fragments and confers resistance to apoptosis. We recently suggested that the early fragmentation of DNA by DFF and the consequent activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), mitochondrial dysfunction, and activation of caspase-3 contribute to an amplification loop in the apoptotic process. To verify the existence of such a loop, we have now examined the effects of restoring DFF expression in DFF45-deficient fibroblasts. Co-transfection of mouse DFF45(-/-) fibroblasts with plasmids encoding human DFF40 and DFF45 reversed the apoptosis resistance normally observed in these cells. The DFF45(-/-) cells regained the ability to fragment their DNA into 50-kb pieces in response to TNF, which resulted in a marked activation of PARP-1 and a concomitant depletion of intracellular NAD. DFF expression also resulted in an increase both in cytochrome c release into the cytosol and in caspase-3 activation triggered by TNF. These results support the importance of DFF, PARP-1, mitochondria, and caspase-3 in an amplification phase of TNF-induced apoptosis.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2002; 290(2):796-801. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several endonucleases are implicated in the internucleosomal DNA fragmentation associated with apoptosis. The human Ca2+- and Mg2+-dependent endonuclease DNAS1L3 is inhibited by poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in vitro, and its activation during apoptosis shows a time course similar to that of the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1). The role of the cleavage and consequent inactivation of PARP-1 by caspase-3 in the activation of DNAS1L3 has now been investigated further both in vitro and in vivo. In an in vitro system based on purified recombinant proteins and NAD, caspase-3 prevented the inhibition of DNAS1L3 endonuclease activity by wild-type PARP-1 but not that induced by a caspase-3-resistant PARP-1 mutant. The induction by etoposide of apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells (which were shown not to express endogenous DNAS1L3) was accompanied by internucleosomal DNA fragmentation only after transfection of the cells with a plasmid encoding DNAS1L3. This DNA fragmentation in etoposide-treated cells was blocked by 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, an inhibitor of intracellular Ca2+ release. Expression of the endonuclease subunit of DNA fragmentation factor (DFF40) and cleavage of its inhibitor, DFF45, were not sufficient to cause internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in osteosarcoma cells during etoposide-induced apoptosis. Coexpression of caspase-3-resistant PARP-1 mutant with DNAS1L3 in osteosarcoma cells blocked etoposide-induced internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and resulted in persistent poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of DNAS1L3; it did not, however, prevent the activation of caspase-3 and the consequent cleavage of endogenous PARP-1. These results indicate that PARP-1 cleavage during apoptosis is not simply required to prevent excessive depletion of NAD and ATP but is also necessary to release DNAS1L3 from poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation-mediated inhibition.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2002; 277(1):372-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain and liver extracts of rats at different stages after birth were examined for cytochrome c/dATP-dependent caspase (DEVDase)-activation (mitochondria pathway) in vitro. The caspase-activating activity in the brain extracts rapidly decreased after birth, reaching approximately 50 and 5%, at 1 and 2 weeks, respectively, of that in a 3-days- newborn sample, and essentially no caspase-activation was detected in the adult rat brain extracts. Such a dramatic change was not detected in the liver samples, suggesting that the observed abrogation of the cytochrome c-dependent mitochondria pathway after birth is a brain-specific event. In order to determine the factor(s) lacking in adult brain, we separately measured Apaf-1, procaspase 9, and pro-DEVDase activities using a supplementation assay. In adult brain, Apaf-1 activity was scarcely detected, while the tissue retained low but significant amounts of procaspase 9 (16% of that in the fetal tissue) and a pro-DEVDase (3.4%). In contrast, adult liver extracts retained relatively high levels of all of these factors. Immunoblot analyses clearly indicated that the expression of Apaf-1 and procaspase 3 is markedly suppressed within 4 weeks after birth in brain tissue while they are even expressed in adult liver. Considering these results together, we propose that, in the brain, the cytochrome c-dependent mitochondria pathway, which is essential for the programmed cell death during normal morphogenesis, is abrogated within 2-4 weeks after birth, whereas the pathway is still active in other adult tissues such as liver.
    Journal of Biochemistry 02/2002; 131(1):131-5. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal apoptosis plays an essential role in early brain development and contributes to secondary neuronal loss after acute brain injury. Recent studies have provided evidence that neuronal susceptibility to apoptosis induced by traumatic or ischemic injury decreases during brain development. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this age-dependent phenomenon remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that, during brain maturation, the potential of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway is progressively reduced and that such repression is associated with downregulation of apoptotic protease-activating factor-1 (Apaf-1) and caspase-3 gene expression. A similar decline in apoptotic susceptibility associated with downregulation of Apaf-1 expression as a function of developmental age was also found in cultured primary rat cortical neurons. Injury-induced cytochrome c-specific cleavage of caspase-9 followed by activation of caspase-3 in mature brain correlated with marked increases in Apaf-1 and caspase-3 mRNA and protein expression. These results suggest that differential expression of Apaf-1 and caspase-3 genes may underlie regulation of apoptotic susceptibility during brain development, as well as after acute injury to mature brain, through the intrinsic pathway of caspase activation.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2001; 21(19):7439-46. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During apoptosis, endonucleases cleave DNA into 50-300-kb fragments and subsequently into internucleosomal fragments. DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) is implicated in apoptotic DNA cleavage; this factor comprises DFF45 and DFF40 subunits, the former of which acts as a chaperone and inhibitor of the catalytic subunit and whose cleavage by caspase-3 results in DFF activation. Disruption of the DFF45 gene blocks internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and confers resistance to apoptosis in primary thymocytes. The role of DFF-mediated DNA fragmentation in apoptosis was investigated in primary fibroblasts from DFF45(-/-) and control (DFF45(+/+)) mice. DFF45 deficiency rendered fibroblasts resistant to apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF induced rapid cleavage of DNA into approximately 50-kb fragments in DFF45(+/+) fibroblasts but not in DFF45(-/-) cells, indicating that DFF mediates this initial step in DNA processing. The TNF-induced activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which requires PARP binding to DNA strand breaks, and the consequent depletion of the PARP substrate NAD were markedly delayed in DFF45(-/-) cells, suggesting a role for DFF in PARP activation. The activation of caspase-3 and mitochondrial events important in apoptotic signaling, including the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and the release of cytochrome c, induced by TNF were similarly delayed in DFF45(-/-) fibroblasts. DFF45(-/-) and DFF45(+/+) cells were equally sensitive to the DNA-damaging agent and PARP activator N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Inhibition of PARP by 3-aminobenzamide partially protected DFF45(+/+) cells against TNF-induced death and inhibited the associated release of cytochrome c and activation of caspase-3. These results suggest that the generation of 50-kb DNA fragments by DFF, together with the activation of PARP, mitochondrial dysfunction, and caspase-3 activation, contributes to an amplification loop in the death process.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2001; 276(41):38185-92. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis plays an important pathophysiologic role in neuronal cell loss and associated neurologic deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI). DNA fragmentation represents one of the characteristic biochemical features of neuronal apoptosis and is observed after experimental TBI. DFF45 and DFF40 are essential for DNA fragmentation in various models of apoptosis. We used mice deficient in DFF45 and wild-type controls. Oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation induced by TBI was analyzed using in vivo and in vitro assays. Expression and integrity of DFF45 and DFF40 proteins was assessed by Western analysis. Other outcome measurements included neurologic scoring, learning/memory tests, lesion volume measurements (MRI), and assessment of cell viability in vitro among others. We compared the effects of controlled cortical impact (CCI) trauma in DFF45 knockout mice and wild-type controls. Analysis of TBI-induced DNA fragmentation in brain cortex from wild-type and DFF45 knockout mice indicates that, although somewhat delayed, oligonucleosomal cleavage of DNA occurs after TBI in DFF45 knockout mice. DFF45 knockouts showed no significant differences in behavioral outcomes or lesion volumes after TBI as compared to wild-type controls. Using an in vitro reconstitution system, we also demonstrated that cleavage of DFF45 by caspase-3 is not sufficient for DNA fragmentation induced by protein extracts from rat brain cortex. We found that endonuclease activity induced in rat brain cortex following TBI depends on the presence of Mg2+ and Ca2+, but is not inhibited by Zn2+. Primary neuronal cultures from DFF45 knockouts failed to show DNA laddering in response to staurosporine, but did show prominent, albeit delayed, DNA fragmentation following treatment with etoposide. In contrast, primary neurons from wild-type animals demonstrated marked DNA fragmentation following treatment with staurosporine or etoposide. The results of this study suggest that, in addition to DFF45/40, other endonucleases may be essential for chromatin degradation during neuronal apoptosis in adult brain after TBI.
    Molecular Medicine 04/2001; 7(3):205-16. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • V A Movsesyan, A G Yakovlev, L Fan, A I Faden
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    ABSTRACT: N-Tosyl-l-phenylalanyl chloromethyl ketone (TPCK), an inhibitor of chymotrypsin-like serine protease (CSP), prevents DNA fragmentation and apoptotic cell death in certain blood cell lines and was reported to reduce hippocampal neuronal damage caused by cerebral ischemia. We examined the role of CSP on recovery after lateral fluid percussion-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats, as well as on cell survival in various in vitro models of neuronal cell death. TBI caused significant time-dependent upregulation of CSP activity, but not trypsin-like serine protease activity in injured cortex. Intracerebroventricular administration of TPCK to rats after TBI did not significantly affect deficits of spatial learning but exacerbated motor dysfunction after injury. Moreover, TPCK did not prevent apoptotic neuronal cell death caused by serum/K(+) deprivation or by application of staurosporine or etoposide in cultured rat cerebellar granule cells, rat cortical neurons, or in the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line. Instead, at doses from 10 to 100 microM, TPCK was cytotoxic in all cultures tested. Similar results were obtained in cultures treated with another CSP inhibitor, 3,4-dichloroisocoumarin. Cell death caused by CSP inhibitors was neither caspase-dependent nor associated with oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Taken together, these data do not support a neuroprotective role for CSP inhibitors. Rather, they suggest that CSPs may serve an endogenous neuroprotective role, possibly by modulating necrotic cell death.
    Experimental Neurology 03/2001; 167(2):366-75. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
164.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1994–2009
    • Georgetown University
      • • Department of Neuroscience
      • • Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences
      • • Department of Neurology
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States
  • 2006
    • Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1992
    • The Neurosciences Institute
      La Jolla, California, United States