Involvement of caspase-2 activation in aurora kinase inhibitor-induced cell death in axin-expressing L929 cells

Eun Jin Choi, Shi Mun Kim, Jee Hye Shin, Sewon Kim, Ki Joon Song, Sun Ho Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Axin is a multifunctional protein that participates in many cellular events including Wnt signaling and cell fate determination. Aurora kinase inhibitor (AKI)-induced cell death and cell membrane rupture is facilitated in L929 cells expressing axin (L-axin cells) through the activation of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP). We observed that caspase-2 activity is required for AKI-induced cell death. Inhibition of caspase-2 activity suppressed AKI-induced PARP activation and mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in a decrease in AKI-induced cell death. When an axin mutant deleted for the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β)-binding domain was expressed in L929 cells (L-ΔGSK cells), AKI-induced caspase-2 activation and cell death decreased. AKI treatment reduced the expression of a 32-kDa caspase-2 splicing variant (caspase-2S) in most L-axin cells, but not in L-ΔGSK cells. These results suggest that AKI-induced caspase-2 activation in L-axin cells might be due to a decrease in the expression of caspase-2S, which inhibits caspase-2 activity. In addition, AKI treatment failed to activate caspase-8 and treatment with necrostatin inhibited AKI-induced cell death in L-axin cells, suggesting that the absence of caspase-8 activation might favor necrotic cell death. Axin expression may facilitate AKI-induced caspase-2 activation followed by activation of PARP and initiation of the necrotic cell death pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr


  • Aurora kinase
  • Axin
  • Caspase-2
  • Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research


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