The amino-terminal peptide of Bax perturbs intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis to enhance apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT During apoptosis, proteolytic cleavage of Bax at the amino terminus generates a truncated Bax of approximately 18 kDa (p18Bax) and an amino-terminal peptide of approximately 3 kDa (p3Bax). Whereas extensive studies have shown that p18Bax behaves like a BH3 protein with enhanced pro-apoptotic function over that of the full-length Bax (p21Bax), little is known about the function of p3Bax in apoptosis. We have previously shown that Bax and Ca2+ play a synergistic role in amplifying apoptosis signaling and that store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) contributes to Bax-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Here we test whether p3Bax can contribute to regulation of Ca2+ signaling during apoptosis through use of a membrane-penetrating peptide to facilitate delivery of recombinant p3Bax into NRP-154 cells, a prostate epithelial cell line with tumorigenic capacity. We find that human immunodefficiency virus transactivator of transcription protein (TAT)-p3Bax fusion peptide can enhance thapsigargin-induced apoptosis in NRP-154 cells, elevate SOCE activity, and increase inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. Our data indicates that p3Bax can modulate the entry of extracellular Ca2+ and thus regulate the amplification of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
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ABSTRACT: The recent elucidation of molecular regulators of apoptosis and their roles in cellular oncogenesis has motivated the development of biomacromolecular anticancer therapeutics that can activate intracellular apoptotic signaling pathways. Pharmaceutical scientists have employed a variety of classes of biologics toward this goal, including antisense oligodeoxynucleotides, small interfering RNA, proteins, antibodies, and peptides. However, stability in the in vivo environment, tumor-specific biodistribution, cell internalization, and localization to the intracellular microenvironment where the targeted molecule is localized pose significant challenges that limit the ability to directly apply intracellular-acting, pro-apoptotic biologics for therapeutic use. Thus, approaches to improve the pharmaceutical properties of therapeutic biomacromolecules are of great significance and have included chemically modifying the bioactive molecule itself or formulation with auxiliary compounds. Recently, promising advances in delivery of pro-apoptotic biomacromolecular agents have been made using tools such as peptide "stapling", cell penetrating peptides, fusogenic peptides, liposomes, nanoparticles, smart polymers, and synergistic combinations of these components. This review will discuss the molecular mediators of cellular apoptosis, the respective mechanisms by which these mediators are dysregulated in cellular oncogenesis, the history and development of both nucleic-acid and amino-acid based drugs, and techniques to achieve intracellular delivery of these biologics. Finally, recent applications where pro-apoptotic functionality has been achieved through delivery of intracellular-acting biomacromolecular drugs will be highlighted.Current pharmaceutical design 02/2011; 17(3):293-319. · 4.41 Impact Factor