Caspase-3 has a nonapoptotic function in erythroid maturation

Graeme W. Carlile, Deborah H. Smith, Martin Wiedmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Scopus citations


Caspase-3 plays a central role in apoptosis. It is also activated in normal erythropoiesis, with its activity peaking early during development (erythroid colony-forming unit [CFU-E] stage). In the present study, we have reduced the expression and subsequent enzymatic activity of caspase-3 by transfection of small interfering RNA (siRNA) directed to caspase-3 in a differentiating human erythroid culture system. We find that siRNA treatment yields a 50% reduction in cells that undergo enucleation with no change in the fraction of cells that undergo apoptosis, measured throughout the culture. Furthermore, a substantial fraction of treated cells are unable to complete the transition from pronormoblasts to basophilic normoblasts. These results demonstrate that caspase-3 is required for efficient erythropoiesis in this model system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4310-4316
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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    Carlile, G. W., Smith, D. H., & Wiedmann, M. (2004). Caspase-3 has a nonapoptotic function in erythroid maturation. Blood, 103(11), 4310-4316.