PETCM is an activator of caspase-3 and a stimulator of apoptosome formation in HeLa cell cytosols. In addition, studies suggest that PETCM can reverse the inhibitory effects of putative HLA-DR-associated proteins (PHAP) on caspase-3 activation. Since caspase-3 activation is dependent on apoptosome formation, prothymosin α can inhibit the activation of caspase-3 by disrupting the formation of the apoptosome somewhere upstream in this regulatory pathway. Studies suggest that PETCM can eliminate the inhibitory effects of prothymosin α by acting as an antagonist and allwing PHAP to stimulate apoptosome formation at a physiological concentration of deoxyadenosine triphosphate.
1. Jiang, X., et al. 2003. Science. 299: 223-226. PMID: 12522243