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Caspase-5 precursor (EC (CASP-5) (ICE(rel)-III) (Protease ICH-3) (Protease TY) [Contains: Caspase-5 subunit p20; Caspase-5 subunit p10] [ICH3]


Gene expression of inflammasome components in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of vascular patients increases with age.

Chronic low-grade inflammation is considered a driver of many age-related disorders, including vascular diseases (inflammaging). Inhibition of autophagic capacity with ageing was postulated to generate a pro-inflammatory condition via activation of inflammasomes, a group of Interleukin-1 activating intracellular multi-protein complexes. We thus investigated gene expression of inflammasome components in PBMC of 77 vascular patients (age 22-82) in association with age. Linear regression of real-time qRT-PCR data revealed a significant positive association of gene expression of each of the inflammasome components with age (Pearson correlation coefficients: AIM2: r = 0.245; P = 0.032; NLRP3: r = 0.367; P = 0.001; ASC (PYCARD): r = 0.252; P = 0.027; CASP1: r = 0.296; P = 0.009; CASP5: r = 0.453; P = 0.00003; IL1B: r = 0.247; P = 0.030). No difference in gene expression of AIM2, NLRP3, ASC CASP1, and CASP5 was detected between PBMC of patients with advanced atherosclerosis and other vascular patients, whereas IL1B expression was increased in PBMC of the latter group (P = 0.0005). The findings reinforce the systemic pro-inflammatory phenotype reported in elderly by demonstrating an increased phase-1 activation of inflammasomes in PBMC of vascular patients.


  • AIM2
  • Aging
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Inflammation
  • NLRP3
  • Vascular disease

Evidence for depletion of CASP5 Ala90Thr heterozygous genotype in aged subjects.

Our previous studies, which included genotyping of multiple coding apoptotic gene polymorphisms, unexpectedly demonstrated a depletion of heterozygous CASP5 Ala90Thr (rs507879, c.268 G>A) genotypes in elderly subjects. Present investigation was aimed to validate this trend. An analysis of 510 subjects aged 75-103years revealed 205 (40%) CASP5 Ala90Thr heterozygotes as compared to 254 (50%) expected from the minor allele frequency 0.470 (p=0.000014). This deviation was not observed in 549 middle-aged (18-50years) controls (270 (49%) heterozygotes observed vs. 274 (50%) expected; minor allele frequency 0.475; p=0.743). Unfavorable significance of CASP5 heterozygous genotype may be explained by the role of the caspase-5 in inflammation-related processes. Almost all prior gene-longevity association studies focused on discrimination between "good" and "bad" gene variants. Here we present a distinct situation, where the combination of alternative alleles (i.e., heterozygosity) appears to be unfavorable as compared to the homozygous carriership of either gene variant.

MeSH Terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Apoptosis
  • Caspases
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Smoking