Native recombinant cyclophilins A, B, and C degrade DNA independently of peptidylprolyl cis-trans-isomerase activity. Potential roles of cyclophilins in apoptosis.
Previous work in our laboratory (Montague, J., Gaido, M., Frye, C., and Cidlowski, J. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 18877-18880) has shown that human recombinant cyclophilins A, B, and C have sequence homology with the apoptotic nuclease NUC18 and that denatured cyclophilins can degrade DNA. We have now evaluated the nucleolytic activity of recombinant cyclophilins under native conditions. We show that nuclease activity inherent to cyclophilins is distinct from cis-trans-peptidylprolyl isomerase activity and is similar to that described for apoptotic nucleases. Cyclophilin nucleolytic activity is stimulated by Ca2+ and/or Mg2+, with a combination of the two being optimal for cyclophilins A and B. Mg2+ alone is sufficient for cyclophilin C nuclease activity. pH optimums are in the range of pH 7.5-9.5. Cyclophilins can degrade both single-stranded and double-stranded DNA. Additionally, cyclophilins produce 3'-OH termini in linear double-stranded substrates, suggesting the cuts produced are similar to those of apoptotic cells. Cyclophilins also display endonucleolytic activity, demonstrated by their ability to degrade supercoiled DNA. In the absence of ions, cyclophilins bind linearized DNA. When added to nuclei from nonapoptotic cells, cyclophilin C induces 50-kilobase pair DNA fragmentation but not internucleosomal fragmentation. Together, these data suggest that cyclophilins are involved in degradation of the genome during apoptosis.
Montague, JW; Hughes, FM; Cidlowski, JA
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