Caspases are the main executioners of Fas-mediated apoptosis, irrespective of the ceramide signalling pathway

Susana Gamen, Alberto Anel, Andrés Piňeiro, Javier Naval
1998 Cell Death and Differentiation  
Tumor necrosis factor a (TNF) or cytotoxic anti-Fas antibodies lead to the activation of apoptotic proteases (caspases) and to sphingomyelinase-mediated ceramide generation. Caspases and ceramide are both known to induce apoptosis on its own, but their relative contribution to Fas-and TNF-induced cell death is not well established. We report here that rapid apoptosis induced by TNF in U937 cells or anti-Fas in Jurkat cells, in the presence of cycloheximide, induced only a very low increase
more » ... ) in the cell ceramide content. Neither treatment with inhibitors of sphingomyelinases nor incubation of cells with fumonisin B 1 , which inhibits de novo ceramide synthesis, prevented TNF and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Increasing or depleting the cell ceramide content by prolonged culture in the presence of monensin or fumonisin B1, respectively, did not prevent TNF and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Treatment of cells with sphingomyelinase inhibitors did not affect to the activation of CPP32 (caspase-3) induced by TNF or anti-Fas antibodies. Chromatin condensation and fragmentation in cells treated with anti-Fas or TNF was abrogated by peptide inhibitors of caspases, which also inhibited Fas-, but not TNF-induced cell death. These results indicate that while ceramide does not seem to act as a critical mediator of TNF and Fas-induced apoptosis, it is generated as a consequence of CPP32 activation and could contribute to the spread of the intracellular death signal.
doi:10.1038/sj.cdd.4400344 pmid:10200470 fatcat:tm2eww4p4rhkdlo7nvoqc7lfpa