75 research outputs found

    Caspase-14 reveals its secrets

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    Caspase-14 is a unique member of the evolutionarily conserved family of cysteinyl aspartate–specific proteinases, which are mainly involved in inflammation and apoptosis. However, recent evidence also implicates these proteases in proliferation and differentiation. Although most caspases are ubiquitously expressed, caspase-14 expression is confined mainly to cornifying epithelia, such as the skin. Moreover, caspase-14 activation correlates with cornification, indicating that it plays a role in terminal keratinocyte differentiation. The determination of in vitro conditions for caspase-14 activity paved the way to identifying its substrates. The recent development of caspase-14–deficient mice underscored its importance in the correct degradation of (pro)filaggrin and in the formation of the epidermal barrier that protects against dehydration and UVB radiation. Here, we review the current knowledge on caspase-14 in skin homeostasis and disease

    Functional protection by acute phase proteins alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein and alpha(1)-antitrypsin against ischemia/reperfusion injury by preventing apoptosis and inflammation.

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    BACKGROUND: Ischemia followed by reperfusion (I/R) causes apoptosis, inflammation, and tissue damage leading to organ malfunction. Ischemic preconditioning can protect against such injury. This study investigates the contribution of the acute phase proteins alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and alpha(1)-antitrypsin (AAT) to the protective effect of ischemic preconditioning in the kidney. METHODS AND RESULTS: Exogenous AGP and AAT inhibited apoptosis and inflammation after 45 minutes of renal I/R in a murine model. AGP and AAT administered at reperfusion prevented apoptosis at 2 hours and 24 hours, as evaluated by the presence of internucleosomal DNA cleavage, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling, and the determination of renal caspase-1- and caspase-3-like activity. AGP and AAT exerted anti-inflammatory effects, as reflected by reduced renal tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression and neutrophil influx after 24 hours. In general, these agents improved renal function. Similar effects were observed when AGP and AAT were administered 2 hours after reperfusion but to a lesser extent and without functional improvement. Moreover, I/R elicited an acute phase response, as reflected by elevated serum AGP and serum amyloid P (SAP) levels after 24 hours, and increased hepatic acute phase protein mRNA levels after 18 hours of renal reperfusion. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of AGP and AAT contribute to the delayed type of protection associated with ischemic preconditioning and other insults. This mechanism is potentially involved in the course of many clinical conditions associated with I/R injury. Moreover, exogenous administration of these proteins may provide new therapeutic means of treatmen

    Regulation of the expression and processing of caspase-12

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    Phylogenetic analysis clusters caspase-12 with the inflammatory caspases 1 and 11. We analyzed the expression of caspase-12 in mouse embryos, adult organs, and different cell types and tested the effect of interferons (IFNs) and other proinflammatory stimuli. Constitutive expression of the caspase-12 protein was restricted to certain cell types, such as epithelial cells, primary fibroblasts, and L929 fibrosarcoma cells. In fibroblasts and B16/B16 melanoma cells, caspase-12 expression is stimulated by IFN-γ but not by IFN-α or -β. The effect is increased further when IFN-γ is combined with TNF, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or dsRNA. These stimuli also induce caspase-1 and -11 but inhibit the expression of caspase-3 and -9. In contrast to caspase-1 and -11, no caspase-12 protein was detected in macrophages in any of these treatments. Transient overexpression of full-length caspase-12 leads to proteolytic processing of the enzyme and apoptosis. Similar processing occurs in TNF-, LPS-, Fas ligand–, and thapsigargin (Tg)-induced apoptosis. However, B16/B16 melanoma cells die when treated with the ER stress–inducing agent Tg whether they express caspase-12 or not

    Compound A, a selective glucocorticoid receptor modulator, enhances heat shock protein Hsp70 gene promoter activation

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    Compound A possesses glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-dependent anti-inflammatory properties. Just like classical GR ligands, Compound A can repress NF-kappa B-mediated gene expression. However, the monomeric Compound A-activated GR is unable to trigger glucocorticoid response element-regulated gene expression. The heat shock response potently activates heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), upregulates Hsp70, a known GR chaperone, and also modulates various aspects of inflammation. We found that the selective GR modulator Compound A and heat shock trigger similar cellular effects in A549 lung epithelial cells. With regard to their anti-inflammatory mechanism, heat shock and Compound A are both able to reduce TNF-stimulated I kappa B alpha degradation and NF-kappa B p65 nuclear translocation. We established an interaction between Compound A-activated GR and Hsp70, but remarkably, although the presence of the Hsp70 chaperone as such appears pivotal for the Compound A-mediated inflammatory gene repression, subsequent novel Hsp70 protein synthesis is uncoupled from an observed CpdA-induced Hsp70 mRNA upregulation and hence obsolete in mediating CpdA's anti-inflammatory effect. The lack of a Compound A-induced increase in Hsp70 protein levels in A549 cells is not mediated by a rapid proteasomal degradation of Hsp70 or by a Compound A-induced general block on translation. Similar to heat shock, Compound A can upregulate transcription of Hsp70 genes in various cell lines and BALB/c mice. Interestingly, whereas Compound A-dependent Hsp70 promoter activation is GR-dependent but HSF1-independent, heat shock-induced Hsp70 expression alternatively occurs in a GR-independent and HSF1-dependent manner in A549 lung epithelial cells