Heterotrimeric G proteins and apoptosis: intersecting signaling pathways leading to context dependent phenotypes.
ABSTRACT Apoptosis, a programmed cell death mechanism, is a fundamental process during the normal development and somatic maintenance of all multicellular organisms and thus is highly conserved and tightly regulated through numerous signaling pathways. Apoptosis is of particular clinical importance as its dysregulation contributes significantly to numerous human diseases, primarily through changes in the expression and activation of key apoptotic regulators. Each of the four families of heterotrimeric G proteins (G(s), G(i/o), G(q/11) and G(12/13)) has been implicated in numerous cellular signaling processes, including proliferation, transformation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Heterotrimeric G protein signaling is an important but not widely studied mechanism regulating apoptosis. G protein Signaling and Apoptosis broadly cover two large bodies of literature and share numerous signaling pathways. Examination of the intersection between these two areas is the focus of this review. Several studies have implicated signaling through each of the four heterotrimeric G protein families to regulate apoptosis within numerous disease contexts, but the mechanism(s) are not well defined. Each G protein family has been shown to stimulate and/or inhibit apoptosis in a context-dependent fashion through regulating numerous downstream effectors including the Bcl-2 family, NF-kappaB, PI3 Kinase, MAP Kinases, and small GTPases. These cell-type specific and G protein coupled receptor dependent effects have led to a complex body of literature of G protein regulation of apoptosis. Here, we review the literature and summarize apoptotic signaling through each of the four heterotrimeric G protein families (and the relevant G protein coupled receptors), and discuss limitations and future directions for research on regulating apoptosis through G protein coupled mechanisms. Continued investigation in this field is essential for the identification of important targets for pharmacological intervention in numerous diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Cell death and the subsequent post-mortem changes, called necrosis, are integral parts of normal development and maturation cycle. Despite the importance of this process, the mechanisms underlying cell death are still poorly understood. In the recent literature, cell death is said to occur by two alternative, opposite modes: apoptosis, a programmed, managed form of cell death, and necrosis, an unordered and accidental form of cellular dying. The incorrect consequence is the overlapping of: a) the process whereby cells die, cell death; and b) the changes that the cells and tissues undergo after the cells die. Only the latter process can be referred to as necrosis and represents a process in cell life. In this review, we discuss the excellent basic research developed in this field during last decades and problems that remain to be resolved in defining both experimentally and mechanicistically the events that lead to and characterize cell death.International Journal of Oncology 07/2002; 21(1):165-70. · 2.40 Impact Factor
Article: Akt-mediated cardiomyocyte survival pathways are compromised by G alpha q-induced phosphoinositide 4,5-bisphosphate depletion.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Expression of the wild type alpha subunit of Gq (GqWT) in cardiomyocytes induces hypertrophy, whereas a constitutively active G alpha q subunit (GqQ209L) induces apoptosis. Akt phosphorylation increases with GqWT expression but is markedly attenuated in cardiomyocytes expressing GqQ209L or in those expressing GqWT and treated with agonist. A membrane-targeted Akt rescues GqQ209L-expressing cardiomyocytes from apoptotic cell death. In contrast, leukemia inhibitory factor fails to activate Akt or promote cell survival in these cells. Association of Akt and PDK-1 with the membrane is also diminished in GqQ209L-expressing cardiomyocytes. Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3), the primary regulator of Akt, increases significantly in GqWT-expressing cells but not in cardiomyocytes expressing GqQ209L. Levels of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), the immediate precursor of PIP3, are also markedly lower in GqQ209L-expressing compared to control cells. Expression of a GqQ209L mutant that has diminished capacity to activate phospholipase C does not decrease PIP2 or Akt or induce apoptosis. In transgenic mice with cardiac G alpha q overexpression, heart failure and increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis develop during the peripartal period. Akt phosphorylation and PIP2 levels decrease concomitantly. Our findings suggest that an Akt-mediated cell survival pathway is compromised by the diminished availability of PIP2 elicited by pathological levels of Gq activity.Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2003; 278(41):40343-51. · 4.77 Impact Factor
Article: Galpha11 induces caspase-mediated proteolytic activation of Rho-associated kinase, ROCK-I, in HeLa cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Expression of the constitutively active mutant of Galpha(11) (Galpha(11)QL) induces the formation of vinculin-containing focal adhesion-like structures in HeLa cells. This was found to be inhibited by Y-27632, a specific inhibitor of Rho-associated kinases (ROCK), but not by co-expression with a dominant negative mutant of RhoA, suggesting Rho-independent activation of ROCK by Galpha(11)QL. Investigation of trypan blue exclusion and immunocytochemistry with an antibody against cleaved caspase revealed the cellular phenotype of Galpha(11)QL-expressing cells to be identical to that displayed by cells undergoing apoptosis, and the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk blocked all morphological changes induced by Galpha(11)QL. Transfection of Galpha(11)QL induced cleavage of ROCK-I, and this proteolysis was also prevented by zVAD-fmk. ROCK-I C-terminally truncated at its authentic caspase sites also induced the formation of vinculin-containing focal adhesion-like structures. In addition, cleavage of ROCK-I was observed when cells overexpressing m1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors were stimulated with carbachol. These results suggest that Galpha(11) induces proteolytic activation of ROCK-I by caspase and thereby regulates the actin cytoskeleton during apoptosis.Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2001; 276(45):42527-33. · 4.77 Impact Factor