Mediation of the antiapoptotic activity of Bcl-xL protein upon interaction with VDAC1 protein.

Department of Life Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 05/2012; 287(27):23152-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.345918
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The mitochondrial protein, the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), is implicated in the control of apoptosis, including via its interaction with the pro- and antiapoptotic proteins. We previously demonstrated the direct interaction of Bcl2 with VDAC, leading to reduced channel conductance. VDAC1-based peptides interacted with Bcl2 to prevent its antiapoptotic activity. Here, using a variety of approaches, we show the interaction of the antiapoptotic protein, Bcl-xL, with VDAC1 and reveal that this interaction mediates Bcl-xL protection against apoptosis. C-terminally truncated Bcl-xL(Δ21) interacts with purified VDAC1, as revealed by microscale thermophoresis and as reflected in the reduced channel conductivity of bilayer-reconstituted VDAC1. Overexpression of Bcl-xL prevented staurosporine-induced apoptosis in cells expressing native VDAC1 but not certain VDAC1 mutants. Having identified mutations in VDAC1 that interfere with the Bcl-xL interaction, certain peptides representing VDAC1 sequences, including the N-terminal domain, were designed and generated as recombinant and synthetic peptides. The VDAC1 N-terminal region and two internal sequences were found to bind specifically, and in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, to immobilized Bcl-xL(Δ21), as revealed by surface plasmon resonance. Moreover, expression of the recombinant peptides in cells overexpressing Bcl-xL prevented protection offered by the protein against staurosporine-induced apoptosis. These results point to Bcl-xL acting as antiapoptotic protein, promoting tumor cell survival via binding to VDAC1. These findings suggest that interfering with Bcl-xL binding to the mitochondria by VDAC1-based peptides may serve to induce apoptosis in cancer cells and to potentiate the efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic agents.

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