The Caenorhabditis elegans cell death gene, Ced-3, encodes a protein homologous to mammalian interleukin-1β-converting enzyme (ICE), a cysteine protease implicated in programmed cell death (PCD). CPP32, also known as Yama, apopain, and Caspase-3, is a member of this family, has substrate specificities similar to Ced-3, and has been shown to have an active role in PCD. Evidence suggests that these proteases act downstream of inhibitors of PCD such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-x(L), which are frequently expressed in Reed- Sternberg (RS) cells of Hodgkin's disease (HD). To date there have been no studies examining the role of the ICE/Ced-3 family of proteins, in particular CPP32, in HD. We examined 24 cases of HD with a classical immunophenotype and 6 cases of nodular lymphocyte predominant HD (NLPHD) for the expression of CPP32 in the RS cells and lymphohistiocytic (Land H) cells as detected by immunohistochemistry. Twenty two of 24 cases (92%) of HD expressed the protein in the RS cells, whereas the L and H cells in all 6 cases of NLPHD lacked expression of CPP32. These results provide further evidence that NLPHD is a phenotypically different disease distinct from classical forms of HD. The differential expression of the cell death protein CPP32 may be an important factor contributing to the apparently different clinical behaviour of NLPHD in contrast to classical HD. The lack of expression of CPP32 in NLPHD shares similarities with low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and may explain their common clinical course. Further studies are required to elucidate the significance of CPP32 in HD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology