Humanin binds and nullifies Bid activity by blocking its activation of Bax and Bak.
ABSTRACT Recently, we discovered that Humanin (HN), a small endogenous peptide of 24 amino acids, binds to and inhibits the proapoptotic protein Bax. We show here that HN also interacts with the BH3-only Bcl-2/Bax family protein, Bid, as well as a truncated form of Bid (tBid) associated with protease-mediated activation of this proapoptotic protein. Synthetic HN peptide binds purified Bid and tBid in vitro and blocks tBid-induced release of cytochrome c and SMAC from isolated mitochondria, whereas mutant peptides that fail to bind Bid or tBid lack this activity. Moreover, HN peptide also retained protective activity on bax-/-mitochondria, indicating that HN can block tBid-induced release of apoptogenic proteins from these organelles in a Bax-independent manner. HN peptide inhibits tBid-induced oligomerization of Bax and Bak in mitochondrial membranes, as shown by experiments with chemical cross-linkers or gel filtration. Gene transfection experiments showed that HN (but not an inactive mutant of HN) also protects intact cells from apoptosis induced by overexpression of tBid. We conclude that Bid represents an additional cellular target of HN, and we propose that HN-mediated suppression of Bid contributes to the antiapoptotic activity of this endogenous peptide.
SourceAvailable from: Vladimir Titorenko[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial functionality is vital to organismal physiology. A body of evidence supports the notion that an age-related progressive decline in mitochondrial function is a hallmark of cellular and organismal aging in evolutionarily distant eukaryotes. Studies of the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a unicellular eukaryote, have led to discoveries of genes, signaling pathways and chemical compounds that modulate longevity-defining cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms across phyla. These studies have provided deep insights into mechanistic links that exist between different traits of mitochondrial functionality and cellular aging. The molecular mechanisms underlying the essential role of mitochondria as signaling organelles in yeast aging have begun to emerge. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding mechanisms by which different functional states of mitochondria define yeast longevity, outline the most important unanswered questions and suggest directions for future research.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 03/2015; 16:5528-5554. DOI:10.3390/ijms16035528 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Proteins belonging to the AP-1 family of transcription factors are known to be involved in the regulation of neuronal viability. While strides have been made to elucidate the mechanisms of how individual members regulate cell death, much remains unknown. We find that the expression of one AP-1 member, c-Fos, is reduced in cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) induced to die by low potassium (LK) treatment. Restoration and increase of this expression protect CGNs against LK-induced death, whereas knockdown induces death of otherwise healthy neurons. Furthermore, forced expression can protect cortical neurons against homocysteic acid (HCA)-induced toxicity. Taken together, this suggests that c-Fos is necessary for neuronal survival and that elevating c-Fos expression has a neuroprotective effect. Consistent with this idea is the finding that c-Fos expression is reduced selectively in the striatum in two separate mouse models of Huntington's disease and forced expression protects against neuronal death resulting from mutant huntingtin (mut-Htt) expression. Interestingly, neuroprotection by c-Fos does not require its DNA-binding, transcriptional, or heteromerization domains. However, this protective activity can be inhibited by pharmacological inhibition of c-Abl, CK-I, and MEK-ERK signaling. Additionally, expression of point mutant forms of this protein has identified that mutation of a tyrosine residue, Tyr345, can convert c-Fos from neuroprotective to neurotoxic. We show that c-Fos interacts with histone deacetylase-3 (HDAC3), a protein that contributes to mut-Htt neurotoxicity and whose overexpression is sufficient to promote neuronal death. When co-expressed, c-Fos can protect against HDAC3 neurotoxicity. Finally, our study identifies a 21-amino acid region at the C-terminus of c-Fos that is sufficient to protect neurons against death induced by LK, HCA treatment, or mut-Htt expression when expressed via a plasmid transfection or as a cell-permeable peptide. This cell-permeable peptide, designated as Fos-CTF, could have potential as a therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Human (HN) prevents stress-induced apoptosis in many cells/tissues. In this study we showed that HN ameliorated chemotherapy [cyclophosphamide (CP) and Doxorubicin (DOX)]-induced male germ cell apoptosis both ex vivo in seminiferous tubule cultures and in vivo in the testis. HN acts by several putative mechanisms via binding to: an IL-12 like trimeric membrane receptor; BAX; or insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3, a proapoptotic factor). To understand the mechanisms of HN on male germ cell apoptosis, we studied five HN analogues including: HNG (HN-S14G, a potent agonist), HNG-F6A (no binding to IGFBP-3), HN-S7A (no self-dimerization), HN-C8P (no binding to BAX), and HN-L12A (a HN antagonist) on CP-induced male germ cell apoptosis in mice. CP-induced germ cell apoptosis was inhibited by HN, HNG, HNG-F6A, HN-S7A, and HN-C8P (less effective); but not by HN-L12A. HN-L12A, but not HN-S7A or HN-C8P, blocked the protective effect of HN against CP-induced male germ cell apoptosis. HN, HN-S7A, and HN-C8P restored CP-suppressed STAT3 phosphorylation. These results suggest that HN: (1) decreases DOX (ex vivo) and CP (in vivo) induced male germ cell apoptosis; (2) action is mediated by the membrane receptor/STAT3 with minor contribution by BAX-binding pathway; (3) self-dimerization or binding to IGFBP-3 may not be involved in HN's effect in testis. HN is an important molecule in the regulation of germ cell homeostasis after injury and agonistic analogues may be developed for treating male infertility or protection against chemotherapy side effects.APOPTOSIS 02/2015; 20(4). DOI:10.1007/s10495-015-1105-5 · 3.61 Impact Factor