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Chapter 13. Cell apoptosis. Extracellular cotrol of cell division, cell growth, and apoptosis. Mitogens stimulate G1-Cdk and G1/S-Cdk activities. 1090 –131= 959(cells). PRIZED Horvitz, and Sulston share Physiology or Medicine Nobel ( 2002 )

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Chapter 13

Cell apoptosis

  • Extracellular cotrol of cell division,
  • cell growth, and apoptosis
  • Mitogens stimulate G1-Cdk and G1/S-Cdk activities

1090 –131= 959(cells)

PRIZEDHorvitz, and Sulston share Physiology or Medicine Nobel


“for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation

of organ development and programmed cell death”











Human cells have a built-in limitation on the number of times they can divide

The cell division is cotrolled not only by extracellular mitogens but also by intracellular mechanisms that can limit cell proliferation.

Cell-cycle arrest or apoptosis induced by excessive stimulation of mitogenic pathways.


Extracellular growth factors stimulate cell growth

Activation of cell-surface receptors

Activation of PI 3-kinase

Activation of elF4E (translation initiation factor) and S6 kinase(phosphorylates ribosomal protein S6)

Increasing protein synthesis and cell growth

2 apoptosis programmed cell death
2.Apoptosis, Programmed cell death
  • Biological functions of apoptosis


 In development, homeostasis, tumor surveillance, and the function of the immune system.


 Morphologi changes:

Early : Chromosome condensation, cell body shrink

Later : Blebbing and Nucleus and cytoplasm fragment—

Apoptotic bodies

At last: Phagocytosed

  • Morphological and biochemical characteristics of apoptosis

A、Normal cell

B、Apoptosis: Apoptotic bodies


Biochemical characteristics of apoptosis:

180~200bp DNA ladder, Accumulation of tTG, PS flip-flop

Apoptosis induced

by Cyto C

Lane 1.0 h

2.1 h

3.2 h

4.3 h

5.4 h







Contrast ofApoptosis and necrosis



Death by apoptosis is a neat, orderly process

3 molecular mechanisms of apoptosis
3.Molecular mechanisms of apoptosis
  • Early researches (MIT: Robert Horrid , 1986)

C.elegans:1090 cells,

The Finding of CED3 mutant

Without losing any of their

cells to apoptosis.

CED3 gene play a crucial role in the process of apoptosis.

131 cells death.

C elegans: a millimeter long, transparent body only a few cell types, from zygote to mature adult only in 3.5days.



  • 1、与PCD有关的基因,负责PCD控制:ced-3、ced-4和ced-9。
  • 2、与PCD过程吞噬作用有关:ced-1、ced-2、ced-5-8 和 ced-10。
  • 3、核酸酶基因(nuc-1), 控制DNA降解,但非PCD所必须。
  • 4、影响特异细胞类型PCD的基因:ces-1、ces-2、cgl-1、和
  • her-1.
  • 保守性高,在哺乳动物中有相应同源物:
  • Ced-3=ICE, Ced-4=Apaf-1, Ced-9=Bcl-2.

Mammalian: CED3 is related to mammalian interleukin-

1ß–converting enzyme (ICE or caspase-1)

Apoptosis is carried out by

a proteolytic system —caspase

(1) Why called caspase?

Active site: Cysteine

Cleavage site: Asparatic acid

Cysteine Asparatic acid specific protease




Apoptosis can be divided into two phases:

Activation phase:

The cell responds to “death signals” that commit it to undergoing self-destruction.

Execution phase:

The death sentence is carried out.

Apoptosis cells are recognized by phagocytes because they carry exposed markers, called “eat me” signals.

The best studied “eat me” signal is the presence of phosphatidylserine molecules in the outer leaflet of PM of apoptotic cells (by flop-flipase).


All caspases expressed as proenzymes— Procaspases

NH2-terminal prodomain: Highly variable

  • How to activate caspases?


Large subunit (20kD)

Small subunit (10kD)

How are procaspases activated to initiate the caspase cascade?

The activation is triggered by adaptor proteins that bring multiple copies of specific procaspases.

3 groups of caspase:

1、apoptotic initiators: caspase-2, caspase-8, caspase-9 and caspase-10

2、apoptotic executioners: caspase-3, caspase-6 ,caspase-7 and 14 (morphology change)

3、inflammatory mediateors: caspase-1, and caspase-11


Procaspases are activated by binding to adaptor proteins

  • The caspase cascade involved in apoptosis
  • Procaspase activation by proteolytic cleavage.
  • Caspase cascade

More than a dozen protein kinase, including FAK, PKC, and Raf1. FAK– disrupt cell adhesion for the apoptotic cell.

Lamins. Cleavage of lamins leads to the disassembly of the nuclear lamina and shrinkage of the nucleus.

Proteins required for cell structure. Such as IF, actin, and gelsilin. Cleavage and inactivation of these proteins lead to changes in cell shape.

Induce cell display signals marked it for phagocytosis .

  • The target proteins of caspase are the following:

The inhibitor of CAD (Caspase-activated Dnase, an endonuclease). Cleavage of CADinhibitor lead to activation of CAD, once activated, CAD translocates from the cytosol to the nucleus severing DNA into fragments.

Enzymes involved in DNA repair. Which are inactivated by caspase cleavage. DNA repair is a homeostatic activity that is inappropriate in an apoptotic cell.


Extrinsic pathway

Two principle pathways

Intrinsic pathway

  • Molecular pathways of apoptosis

(1)Extrinsic pathway: Fas Signaling Pathway

Receptor-mediated pathway of apoptosis

Fas (also called Apo-1 or CD95) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily.

Bcl-2 Family(cytoplasmic factors):

Bad,Bid,and bax: promote apoptosis;

Bcl-X, Bcl-w,and Bcl-2: prevent apoptosis.

Internal stimuli: DNA damage, high Ca2+ , Oxidative stress


(2) Intrinsic pathway: Mitochondrial pathway

The mitochondria-mediated pathway of apoptosis

Various types ofcellular stress

Bcl-2 family: Bad or Bax to become inserted into OM of Mit

Release of cytochrome c from I-O space of Mit.

Form a multisubunit complex; and Caspase Cascade,…


Activation of caspase-2 is required for permeabilization of mitochondria, release of cytochrome c, and apoptosis