Research Repository

A non-apoptotic role for caspase-9 in muscle differentiation

Murray, TVA and McMahon, JM and Howley, BA and Stanley, A and Ritter, T and Mohr, A and Zwacka, R and Fearnhead, HO (2008) 'A non-apoptotic role for caspase-9 in muscle differentiation.' Journal of Cell Science, 121 (22). 3786 - 3793. ISSN 0021-9533

J Cell Sci-2008-Murray-3786-93.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview


Caspases, a family of cysteine proteases most often investigated for their roles in apoptosis, have also been demonstrated to have functions that are vital for the efficient execution of cell differentiation. One such role that has been described is the requirement of caspase-3 for the differentiation of skeletal myoblasts into myotubes but, as yet, the mechanism leading to caspase-3 activation in this case remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that caspase-9, an initiator caspase in the mitochondrial death pathway, is responsible for the activation of caspase-3 in differentiating C2C12 cells. Reduction of caspase-9 levels, using an shRNA construct, prevented caspase-3 activation and inhibited myoblast fusion. Myosin-heavychain expression, which accompanies myoblastic differentiation, was not caspase-dependent. Overexpression of Bcl-xL, a protein that inhibits caspase-9 activation, had the same effect on muscle differentiation as knockdown of caspase-9. These data suggest that the mitochondrial pathway is required for differentiation; however, the release of cytochrome c or Smac (Diablo) could not be detected, raising the possibility of a novel mechanism of caspase-9 activation during muscle differentiation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 14:08
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 09:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item