Hum Mol Genet 2002 Jun;11(13):1505-15
Division of Development and Differentiation, National Institute of Neuroscience, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi-machi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.
Accumulation of unfolded and malfolded proteins causes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, stimulating unfolded protein response (UPR) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and activating caspase-12 located on the ER. Little is known about the relationship between the ER stress and polyglutamine [poly(Q)] aggregates. Poly(Q)72 repeats [poly(Q)(72)] induced the stimulation of ER stress signals such as JNK activation, upregulation of Grp78/Bip and caspase-12 activation in C2C5 cells. We prepared antiserum against the cleavage site of mouse caspase-12 at D(318) (anti-m12D318), and showed that poly(Q)(72) with perinuclear aggregates, cytoplasmic inclusions and nuclear inclusions stimulated JNK activation and anti-m12D318 immunoreactivity, but poly(Q)(72) with dispersed aggregates and small nuclear aggregates showed a significantly less effect. Poly(Q)(72) and poly(Q)(11) dispersed in cytoplasm did not. Anti-m12D318-positive cells showed apoptotic features. Unlike anti-m8D387 immunoreactivity, the anti-m12D318 immunoreactivity was not coaggregated with poly(Q). Ac-IETD-fmk (caspase-8 inhibitor) and Ac-DEVD-CHO (caspase-3 inhibitor) did not prevent the anti-m12D318 immunoreactivity induced by poly(Q)(72) aggregates. Anti-m12D318 immunoreactivity was detected in caspase-8(-/-) and caspase-3(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts expressing poly(Q)(72) aggregates. Thus, caspase-12 was activated by poly(Q)(72) aggregates via a pathway independent of caspase-8 and caspase-3 activation, and caspase-12 activation was closely associated with poly(Q) aggregate-mediated cell death. Stimulation of ER stress signals may be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders with poly(Q) expansion.