Caspase-2 is not required for thymocyte or neuronal apoptosis even though cleavage of caspase-2 is dependent on both Apaf-1 and caspase-9.
O'Reilly LA., Ekert P., Harvey N., Marsden V., Cullen L., Vaux DL., Hacker G., Magnusson C., Pakusch M., Cecconi F., Kuida K., Strasser A., Huang DCS., Kumar S.
We have generated rat monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognise caspase-2 from many species, including mouse, rat and humans. Using these antibodies, we have investigated caspase-2 expression, subcellular localisation and processing. We demonstrate that caspase-2 is expressed in most tissues and cell types. Cell fractionation and immunohistochemistry experiments show that caspase-2 is found in the nuclear and cytosolic fractions, including a significant portion present in the Golgi complex. We found that caspase-2 is processed in response to many apoptotic stimuli but experiments with caspase-2 deficient mice demonstrated that it is not required for apoptosis of thymocytes or dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons in response to a variety of cytotoxic stimuli. Caspase-2 processing does not occur in thymocytes lacking Apaf-1 or caspase-9, suggesting that in this cell type, activation of caspase-2 occurs downstream of apoptosome formation.