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      Cytoprotective effect of selective small-molecule caspase inhibitors against staurosporine-induced apoptosis

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          Abstract

          Caspases are currently known as the central executioners of the apoptotic pathways. Inhibition of apoptosis and promotion of normal cell survival by caspase inhibitors would be a tremendous benefit for reducing the side effects of cancer therapy and for control of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. The objective of this study was to discover small-molecule caspase inhibitors with which to achieve cytoprotective effect. We completed the high-throughput screening of Bionet’s 37,500-compound library (Key Organics Limited, Camelford, Cornwall, UK) against caspase-1, -3, and -9 and successfully identified 43 initial hit compounds. The 43 hit compounds were further tested for cytoprotective activity against staurosporine-induced cell death in NIH3T3 cells. Nineteen compounds were found to have significant cytoprotective effects in cell viability assays. One of the compounds, RBC1023, was demonstrated to protect NIH3T3 cells from staurosporine-induced caspase-3 cleavage and activation. RBC1023 was also shown to protect against staurosporine-induced impairment of mitochondrial membrane potential. DNA microarray analysis demonstrated that staurosporine treatment induced broad global gene expression alterations, and RBC1023 co-treatment significantly restored these changes, especially of the genes that are related to cell growth and survival signaling such as Egr1, Cdc25c, cdkn3, Rhob, Nek2, and Taok1. Collectively, RBC1023 protects NIH3T3 cells against staurosporine-induced apoptosis via inhibiting caspase activity, restoring mitochondrial membrane potential, and possibly upregulating some cell survival-related gene expressions and pathways.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Mitochondria and apoptosis.

          A variety of key events in apoptosis focus on mitochondria, including the release of caspase activators (such as cytochrome c), changes in electron transport, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, altered cellular oxidation-reduction, and participation of pro- and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. The different signals that converge on mitochondria to trigger or inhibit these events and their downstream effects delineate several major pathways in physiological cell death.
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            Molecular characterization of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor.

            Mitochondria play a key part in the regulation of apoptosis (cell death). Their intermembrane space contains several proteins that are liberated through the outer membrane in order to participate in the degradation phase of apoptosis. Here we report the identification and cloning of an apoptosis-inducing factor, AIF, which is sufficient to induce apoptosis of isolated nuclei. AIF is a flavoprotein of relative molecular mass 57,000 which shares homology with the bacterial oxidoreductases; it is normally confined to mitochondria but translocates to the nucleus when apoptosis is induced. Recombinant AIF causes chromatin condensation in isolated nuclei and large-scale fragmentation of DNA. It induces purified mitochondria to release the apoptogenic proteins cytochrome c and caspase-9. Microinjection of AIF into the cytoplasm of intact cells induces condensation of chromatin, dissipation of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and exposure of phosphatidylserine in the plasma membrane. None of these effects is prevented by the wide-ranging caspase inhibitor known as Z-VAD.fmk. Overexpression of Bcl-2, which controls the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pores, prevents the release of AIF from the mitochondrion but does not affect its apoptogenic activity. These results indicate that AIF is a mitochondrial effector of apoptotic cell death.
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              Caspases: the executioners of apoptosis.

               Gerald Cohen (1997)
              Apoptosis is a major form of cell death, characterized initially by a series of stereotypic morphological changes. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the gene ced-3 encodes a protein required for developmental cell death. Since the recognition that CED-3 has sequence identity with the mammalian cysteine protease interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE), a family of at least 10 related cysteine proteases has been identified. These proteins are characterized by almost absolute specificity for aspartic acid in the P1 position. All the caspases (ICE-like proteases) contain a conserved QACXG (where X is R, Q or G) pentapeptide active-site motif. Capases are synthesized as inactive proenzymes comprising an N-terminal peptide (prodomain) together with one large and one small subunit. The crystal structures of both caspase-1 and caspase-3 show that the active enzyme is a heterotetramer, containing two small and two large subunits. Activation of caspases during apoptosis results in the cleavage of critical cellular substrates, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and lamins, so precipitating the dramatic morphological changes of apoptosis. Apoptosis induced by CD95 (Fas/APO-1) and tumour necrosis factor activates caspase-8 (MACH/FLICE/Mch5), which contains an N-terminus with FADD (Fas-associating protein with death domain)-like death effector domains, so providing a direct link between cell death receptors and the caspases. The importance of caspase prodomains in the regulation of apoptosis is further highlighted by the recognition of adapter molecules, such as RAIDD [receptor-interacting protein (RIP)-associated ICH-1/CED-3-homologous protein with a death domain]/CRADD (caspase and RIP adapter with death domain), which binds to the prodomain of caspase-2 and recruits it to the signalling complex. Cells undergoing apoptosis following triggering of death receptors execute the death programme by activating a hierarchy of caspases, with caspase-8 and possibly caspase-10 being at or near the apex of this apoptotic cascade.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2014
                24 May 2014
                : 8
                : 583-600
                Affiliations
                Reaction Biology Corp, Malvern, PA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Haiching Ma, Reaction Biology Corp, 1 Great Valley Parkway, Suite 2, Malvern, PA 19355, USA, Tel +1 610 722 0247, Fax +1 610 722 0246, Email haiching.ma@ 123456reactionbiology.com
                Article
                dddt-8-583
                10.2147/DDDT.S60283
                4043716
                © 2014 Wu et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                rbc1023, mitochondria, caspase inhibition, cell death

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