Drp1 mediates caspase-independent type III cell death in normal and leukemic cells.
ABSTRACT Ligation of CD47 triggers caspase-independent programmed cell death (PCD) in normal and leukemic cells. Here, we characterize the morphological and biochemical features of this type of death and show that it displays the hallmarks of type III PCD. A molecular and biochemical approach has led us to identify a key mediator of this type of death, dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). CD47 ligation induces Drp1 translocation from cytosol to mitochondria, a process controlled by chymotrypsin-like serine proteases. Once in mitochondria, Drp1 provokes an impairment of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, which results in dissipation of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, reactive oxygen species generation, and a drop in ATP levels. Surprisingly, neither the activation of the most representative proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family, such as Bax or Bak, nor the release of apoptogenic proteins AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor), cytochrome c, endonuclease G (EndoG), Omi/HtrA2, or Smac/DIABLO from mitochondria to cytosol is observed. Responsiveness of cells to CD47 ligation increases following Drp1 overexpression, while Drp1 downregulation confers resistance to CD47-mediated death. Importantly, in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells, mRNA levels of Drp1 strongly correlate with death sensitivity. Thus, this previously unknown mechanism controlling caspase-independent type III PCD may provide the basis for novel therapeutic approaches to overcome apoptotic avoidance in malignant cells.
Article: Spontaneous and drug-induced apoptosis is mediated by conformational changes of Bax and Bak in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The role of Bax and Bak, 2 proapoptotic proteins of the Bcl-2 family, was analyzed in primary B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells following in vitro treatment with fludarabine, dexamethasone, or the combination of fludarabine with cyclophosphamide and mitoxantrone (FCM). A strong correlation was found between the number of apoptotic cells and the percentage of cells stained with antibodies recognizing conformational changes of Bax (n = 33; r = 0.836; P <.001) or Bak (n = 10; r = 0.948; P <.001). Preincubation of CLL cells with Z-VAD.fmk (N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone), a broad caspase inhibitor, abolished caspase-3 activation, exposure of phosphatidylserine residues, and reactive oxygen species generation; partially reversed the loss of transmembrane mitochondrial potential (DeltaPsim); but did not affect Bax or Bak conformational changes. These results indicate that the conformational changes of Bax and Bak occur upstream of caspase activation or are caspase independent. Following drug-induced apoptosis, Bax integrates into mitochondria, as demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy and Western blot, without changes in the total amount of Bax or Bak protein. Fludarabine and FCM induce p53 stabilization, but do not seem to be essential in inducing Bax and Bak conformational changes, as they are also observed in dexamethasone-treated CLL cells. These results demonstrate that, in CLL cells, the change in the intracellular localization of Bax from cytosol to mitochondria and the conformational changes of Bax and Bak are among the early steps in the induction of cell death.Blood 09/2002; 100(5):1810-6. · 9.90 Impact Factor