Caspase plays an important role in apoptosis. We report here that farnesyltransferase/geranylgeranyltransferase (FTase/GGTase)-α, a common subunit of FTase (α/ βFTase) and GGTase I (α/βGGTase), was cleaved by caspase-3 during apoptosis. FTase/GGTase-α (49 kDa) was cleaved to 35 kDa (p35) in the Rat-2/H-ras, W4 and Rat-1 cells treated with FTase inhibitor (LB42708), anti-Fas antibody and etoposide, respectively. This cleavage was inhibited by caspase-inhibitors (YVAD-cmk, DEVD-cho). Serial N-terminal deletions and site-directed mutagenesis showed that Asp59 of FTase/GGTase-α was cleaved by caspase-3. The common FTase/GGTase-α subunit, but not the β subunits, of the FTase or GGTase I protein complexes purified from baculovirus-infected SF-9 cells was cleaved to be inactivated by purified caspase-3. In contrast, FTase mutant protein complex [(D59A)α/βFTase] was resistant to caspase-3. Expression of either the cleavage product (60-379) or anti-sense of FTase/GGTase-α induced cell death in Rat- 2/H-ras cells. Furthermore, expression of (D59A)FTase/ GGTase-α mutant significantly desensitized cells to etoposide-induced death. Taken together, we suggest that cleavage of prenyltransferase by caspase contributes to the progression of apoptosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank S Nagata and J Goldstein for W4 cells and hamster caspase-3 antibody, respectively. We thank N Spoerel for critical reading of this manuscript. This work was supported by Brain Korea 21 project and in part by grants from the KOSEF (97-0401-07-01-5) and Molecular Medicine Research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research