Bcr-Abl, activated in chronic myelogenous leukemias, is a potent cell death inhibitor. Previous reports have shown that Bcr-Abl prevents apoptosis through inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. We report here that Bcr-Abl also inhibits caspase activation after the release of cytochrome c. Bcr-Abl inhibited caspase activation by cytochrome c added to cell-free lysates and prevented apoptosis when cytochrome c was microinjected into intact cells. Bcr-Abl acted posttranslationally to prevent the cytochrome c-induced binding of Apaf-1 to procaspase 9. Although Bcr-Abl prevented interaction of endogenous Apaf-1 with the recombinant prodomain of caspase 9, it did not affect the association of endogenous caspase 9 with the isolated Apaf-1 caspase recruitment domain (CARD) or Apaf-1 lacking WD-40 repeats. These data suggest that Apaf-1 recruitment of caspase 9 is faulty in the presence of Bcr-Abl and that cytochrome c/dATP-induced exposure of the Apaf-1 CARD is likely defective. These data provide a novel locus of Bcr-Abl antiapoptotic action and suggest a distinct mechanism of apoptosomal inhibition.
PubMed ID: 15542838
PMC ID: PMC529043
Article link: Mol Cell Biol.
Grant support: R01 CA102702 NCI NIH HHS , R01 NS42197 NINDS NIH HHS
Genes referenced: abl1 apaf1 bcr casp9