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Bcl-2 Cleavages At Two Adjacent Sites By Different Caspases Promote Cisplatin-induced Apoptosis

Jianbei Zhu, Ying Yang, J. Wu
Published 2007 · Biology, Medicine

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The protein encoded by bcl-2 proto-oncogene plays an important role in the mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. Although the general role of Bcl-2 is anti-apoptotic, previous work showed that Bcl-2 fragments cleaved by caspases could promote apoptotic process. We report herein that Bcl-2 protein was cleaved to produce two fragments of around 23 kDa in human hepatocarcinoma BEL-7404 cells or in Bcl-2 overexpressing CHO cells induced by cisplatin. Treating cells with the general caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk blocked the induced cleavage of Bcl-2. Mutagenesis analyses showed that Bcl-2 was cleaved by caspases at two adjacent recognition sites in the loop domain (YEWD31↓AGD34↓V), which could be inhibited by caspase-8 and -3 inhibitors, respectively. Overexpression of the carboxyl terminal 23 kDa fragments increased the sensitivity of CHO cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that Bcl-2 can be cleaved into two close fragments by different caspases during cisplatin-induced apoptosis, both of which contribute to the acceleration of apoptotic process.
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