The Biochemical journal

Neuronal caspase 2 activity and function requires RAIDD, but not PIDD.

PMID 22515271


Caspase 2 was initially identified as a neuronally expressed developmentally down-regulated gene (HUGO gene nomenclature CASP2) and has been shown to be required for neuronal death induced by several stimuli, including NGF (nerve growth factor) deprivation and Aβ (β-amyloid). In non-neuronal cells the PIDDosome, composed of caspase 2 and two death adaptor proteins, PIDD (p53-inducible protein with a death domain) and RAIDD {RIP (receptor-interacting protein)-associated ICH-1 [ICE (interleukin-1β-converting enzyme)/CED-3 (cell-death determining 3) homologue 1] protein with a death domain}, has been proposed as the caspase 2 activation complex, although the absolute requirement for the PIDDosome is not clear. To investigate the requirement for the PIDDosome in caspase-2-dependent neuronal death, we have examined the necessity for each component in induction of active caspase 2 and in execution of caspase-2-dependent neuronal death. We find that both NGF deprivation and Aβ treatment of neurons induce active caspase 2 and that induction of this activity depends on expression of RAIDD, but is independent of PIDD expression. We show that treatment of wild-type or PIDD-null neurons with Aβ or NGF deprivation induces formation of a complex of caspase 2 and RAIDD. We also show that caspase-2-dependent execution of neurons requires RAIDD, not PIDD. Caspase 2 activity can be induced in neurons from PIDD-null mice, and NGF deprivation or Aβ use caspase 2 and RAIDD to execute death of these neurons.