Fibrils colocalize caspase-3 with procaspase-3 to foster maturation.
ABSTRACT Most proteases are expressed as inactive precursors, or zymogens, that become activated by limited proteolysis. We previously identified a small molecule, termed 1541, that dramatically promotes the maturation of the zymogen, procaspase-3, to its mature form, caspase-3. Surprisingly, compound 1541 self-assembles into nanofibrils, and localization of procaspase-3 to the fibrils promotes activation. Here, we interrogate the biochemical mechanism of procaspase-3 activation on 1541 fibrils in addition to proteogenic amyloid-β(1-40) fibrils. In contrast to previous reports, we find no evidence that procaspase-3 alone is capable of self-activation, consistent with its fate-determining role in executing apoptosis. In fact, mature caspase-3 is >10(7)-fold more active than procaspase-3, making this proenzyme a remarkably inactive zymogen. However, we also show that fibril-induced colocalization of trace amounts of caspase-3 or other initiator proteases with procaspase-3 dramatically stimulates maturation of the proenzyme in vitro. Thus, similar to known cellular signaling complexes, these synthetic or natural fibrils can serve as platforms to concentrate procaspase-3 for trans-activation by upstream proteases.
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ABSTRACT: Caspases, aspartate-specific cysteine proteases, have fate-determining roles in many cellular processes including apoptosis, differentiation, neuronal remodeling, and inflammation (for review, see Yuan & Kroemer, 2010). There are a dozen caspases in humans alone, yet their individual contributions toward these phenotypes are not well understood. Thus, there has been considerable interest in activating individual caspases or using their activity to drive these processes in cells and animals. We envision that such experimental control of caspase activity can not only afford novel insights into fundamental biological problems but may also enable new models for disease and suggest possible routes to therapeutic intervention. In particular, localized, genetic, and small-molecule-controlled caspase activation has the potential to target the desired cell type in a tissue. Suppression of caspase activation is one of the hallmarks of cancer and thus there has been significant enthusiasm for generating selective small-molecule activators that could bypass upstream mutational events that prevent apoptosis. Here, we provide a practical guide that investigators have devised, using genetics or small molecules, to activate specific caspases in cells or animals. Additionally, we show genetically controlled activation of an executioner caspase to target the function of a defined group of neurons in the adult mammalian brain.Methods in enzymology. 01/2014; 544C:179-213.
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ABSTRACT: Celastrol is an active compound extracted from the root bark of the traditional Chinese medicine Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. To investigate the effect of celastrol on human multiple myeloma cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and explore its molecular mechanism of action. The activity of celastrol on LP-1 cell proliferation was detected by WST-8 assay. The celastrol-induced cell cycle arrest was analyzed by flow cytometry after propidium iodide staining. Nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was observed by fluorescence microscope. Celastrol inhibited cell proliferation of LP-1 myeloma cell in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 values of 0.8817 µM, which was mediated through G1 cell cycle arrest and p27 induction. Celastrol induced apoptosis in LP-1 and RPMI 8226 myeloma cells in a time and dose dependent manner, and it involved Caspase-3 activation and NF-κB pathway. Celastrol down-modulated antiapoptotic proteins including Bcl-2 and survivin expression. The expression of NF-κB and IKKa were decreased after celastrol treatment. Celastrol effectively blocked the nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit and induced human multiple myeloma cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by p27 upregulation and NF-kB modulation. It has been demonstrated that the effect of celastrol on NF-kB was HO-1-independent by using zinc protoporphyrin-9 (ZnPPIX), a selective heme oxygenase inhibitor. From the results, it could be inferred that celastrol may be used as a NF-kB inhibitor to inhibit myeloma cell proliferation.PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e95846. · 3.53 Impact Factor
- ACS Chemical Biology 01/2014; 9(1):21-7. · 5.44 Impact Factor