Alexander H Stegh

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States

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Publications (22)216.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Protein kinase C zeta (PKCζ) has been reported to act as a tumor suppressor. Deletion of PKCζ in experimental cancer models has been shown to increase tumor growth. However, the mechanisms of PKCζ downregulation have in cancerous cells have not been previously described. Objective: To determine the molecular mechanisms that lead to decreased PKCζ expression and thus increased survival in cancer cells and tumors. Measurements and Main Results: Hypoxia is a hallmark of growing solid tumors. We found that during hypoxia, PKCζ is ubiquitinated and degraded via the ubiquitin ligase HOIL-1L, a component of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC). In vitro ubiquitination assays indicate the HOIL-1L ubiquitinates PKCζ in Lys-48 targeting it for proteasomal degradation. In a mice xenograft models of lung cancer and flank cancer, we found that silencing of HOIL-1L increased the abundance of PKCζ and decreased the size of tumors, suggesting that lower levels of HOIL-1L promote survival. Indeed, mRNA transcript levels of HOIL-1L levels were elevated in tumor of patients with lung adenocarcinoma and in a lung adenocarcinoma tissue microarray we found that the levels of HOIL-1L were associated with high grade tumors. Moreover, we found that that HOIL-1L expression was regulated by the hypoxia inducible factors. Interestingly the actions of HOIL-1L were independent of HOIP and SHARPIN the other components of LUBAC.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 08/2014; · 11.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapy resistance is a major limitation to the successful treatment of cancer. Here, we identify Bcl2-like 13 (Bcl2L13), an atypical member of the Bcl-2 family, as a therapy susceptibility gene with elevated expression in solid and blood cancers, including glioblastoma (GBM). We demonstrate that mitochondria-associated Bcl2L13 inhibits apoptosis induced by a wide spectrum of chemo- and targeted therapies upstream of Bcl2-associated X protein activation and mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization in vitro and promotes GBM tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistically, Bcl2L13 binds to proapoptotic ceramide synthases 2 (CerS2) and 6 (CerS6) via a unique C-terminal 250-aa sequence located between its Bcl-2 homology and membrane anchor domains and blocks homo- and heteromeric CerS2/6 complex formation and activity. Correspondingly, CerS2/6 activity and Bcl2L13 abundance are inversely correlated in GBM tumors. Thus, our genetic and functional studies identify Bcl2L13 as a regulator of therapy susceptibility and point to the Bcl2L13-CerS axis as a promising target to enhance responses of therapy-refractory cancers toward conventional and targeted regimens currently in clinical use.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Chad A Mirkin, Alexander H Stegh
    Oncotarget 12/2013; · 6.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a neurologically debilitating disease that culminates in death 14 to 16 months after diagnosis. An incomplete understanding of how cataloged genetic aberrations promote therapy resistance, combined with ineffective drug delivery to the central nervous system, has rendered GBM incurable. Functional genomics efforts have implicated several oncogenes in GBM pathogenesis but have rarely led to the implementation of targeted therapies. This is partly because many "undruggable" oncogenes cannot be targeted by small molecules or antibodies. We preclinically evaluate an RNA interference (RNAi)-based nanomedicine platform, based on spherical nucleic acid (SNA) nanoparticle conjugates, to neutralize oncogene expression in GBM. SNAs consist of gold nanoparticles covalently functionalized with densely packed, highly oriented small interfering RNA duplexes. In the absence of auxiliary transfection strategies or chemical modifications, SNAs efficiently entered primary and transformed glial cells in vitro. In vivo, the SNAs penetrated the blood-brain barrier and blood-tumor barrier to disseminate throughout xenogeneic glioma explants. SNAs targeting the oncoprotein Bcl2Like12 (Bcl2L12)-an effector caspase and p53 inhibitor overexpressed in GBM relative to normal brain and low-grade astrocytomas-were effective in knocking down endogenous Bcl2L12 mRNA and protein levels, and sensitized glioma cells toward therapy-induced apoptosis by enhancing effector caspase and p53 activity. Further, systemically delivered SNAs reduced Bcl2L12 expression in intracerebral GBM, increased intratumoral apoptosis, and reduced tumor burden and progression in xenografted mice, without adverse side effects. Thus, silencing antiapoptotic signaling using SNAs represents a new approach for systemic RNAi therapy for GBM and possibly other lethal malignancies.
    Science translational medicine 10/2013; 5(209):209ra152. · 10.76 Impact Factor
  • Alexander H Stegh
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    ABSTRACT: Tumors are composed of highly proliferate, migratory, invasive, and therapy-evading cells. These characteristics are conferred by an enormously complex landscape of genomic, (epi-)genetic, and proteomic aberrations. Recent efforts to comprehensively catalogue these reversible and irreversible modifications have began to identify molecular mechanisms that contribute to cancer pathophysiology, serve as novel therapeutic targets, and may constitute biomarkers for early diagnosis and prediction of therapy responses. With constantly evolving technologies that will ultimately enable a complete survey of cancer genomes, the challenges for discovery cancer science and drug development are daunting. Bioinformatic and functional studies must differentiate cancer-driving and -contributing mutations from mere bystanders or 'noise', and have to delineate their molecular mechanisms of action as a function of collaborating oncogenic and tumor suppressive signatures. In addition, the translation of these genomic discoveries into meaningful clinical endpoints requires the development of co-extinction strategies to therapeutically target multiple cancer genes, to robustly deliver therapeutics to tumor sites, and to enable widespread dissemination of therapies within tumor tissue. In this perspective, I will describe the most current paradigms to study and validate cancer gene function. I will highlight advances in the area of nanotechnology, in particular, the development of RNA interference (RNAi)-based platforms to more effectively deliver therapeutic agents to tumor sites, and to modulate critical cancer genes that are difficult to target using conventional small-molecule- or antibody-based approaches. I will conclude with an outlook on the deluge of challenges that genomic and bioengineering sciences must overcome to make the long-awaited era of personalized nano-medicine a clinical reality for cancer patients.
    Integrative Biology 08/2012; · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    Fotini M Kouri, Samuel A Jensen, Alexander H Stegh
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive and lethal brain cancer with a median survival of less than two years after diagnosis. Hallmarks of GBM tumors include soaring proliferative indices, high levels of angiogenesis, diffuse invasion into normal brain parenchyma, resistance toward therapy-induced apoptosis, and pseudopallisading necrosis. Despite the recent advances in neurosurgery, radiation therapy, and the development of targeted chemotherapeutic regimes, GBM remains one of the deadliest types of cancer. Particularly, the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) in combination with radiation therapy prolonged patient survival only marginally, and clinical studies assessing efficacies of targeted therapies, foremost ATP mimetics inhibiting the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), revealed only few initial responders; tumor recurrence is nearly universal, and salvage therapies to combat such progression remain ineffective. Consequently, myriad preclinical and clinical studies began to define the molecular mechanisms underlying therapy resistance of GBM tumors, and pointed to the Bcl-2 protein family, in particular the atypical member Bcl2-Like 12 (Bcl2L12), as important regulators of therapy-induced cell death. This review will discuss the multi-faceted modi operandi of Bcl-2 family proteins, describe their roles in therapy resistance of malignant glioma, and outline current and future drug development efforts to therapeutically target Bcl-2 proteins.
    The Scientific World Journal 01/2012; 2012:838916. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    Alexander H Stegh
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Research over the past three decades has identified p53 as a multi-functional transcription factor. p53 influences myriad, highly diverse cellular processes, and represents one of the most important and extensively studied tumor suppressors. Activated by various stresses, p53 blocks cancer progression by provoking transient or permanent growth arrest, by enabling DNA repair, or by advancing cellular death programs. This anti-cancer activity profile, together with genomic and mutational analyses documenting inactivation of p53 in more than 50% of human cancers, motivated drug development efforts to (re-) activate p53 in established tumors. AREAS COVERED: The complexities of p53 signaling in cancer are summarized, including current strategies and challenges to restore p53's tumor suppressive function in established tumors, to inactivate p53 inhibitors, and to restore wild type function of p53 mutant proteins. EXPERT OPINION: p53 represents an attractive target for the development of anti-cancer therapies. Whether p53 is 'druggable', however, remains an area of active research and discussion, as p53 has pro-survival functions and chronic p53 activation accelerates aging, which may compromise the long-term homeostasis of an organism. The complex biology and dual functions of p53 in cancer prevention and age-related cellular responses pose significant challenges to the development of p53-targeting cancer therapies.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 01/2012; 16(1):67-83. · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Effective clinical management of prostate cancer (PCA) has been challenged by significant intratumoural heterogeneity on the genomic and pathological levels and limited understanding of the genetic elements governing disease progression. Here, we exploited the experimental merits of the mouse to test the hypothesis that pathways constraining progression might be activated in indolent Pten-null mouse prostate tumours and that inactivation of such progression barriers in mice would engender a metastasis-prone condition. Comparative transcriptomic and canonical pathway analyses, followed by biochemical confirmation, of normal prostate epithelium versus poorly progressive Pten-null prostate cancers revealed robust activation of the TGFβ/BMP-SMAD4 signalling axis. The functional relevance of SMAD4 was further supported by emergence of invasive, metastatic and lethal prostate cancers with 100% penetrance upon genetic deletion of Smad4 in the Pten-null mouse prostate. Pathological and molecular analysis as well as transcriptomic knowledge-based pathway profiling of emerging tumours identified cell proliferation and invasion as two cardinal tumour biological features in the metastatic Smad4/Pten-null PCA model. Follow-on pathological and functional assessment confirmed cyclin D1 and SPP1 as key mediators of these biological processes, which together with PTEN and SMAD4, form a four-gene signature that is prognostic of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biochemical recurrence and lethal metastasis in human PCA. This model-informed progression analysis, together with genetic, functional and translational studies, establishes SMAD4 as a key regulator of PCA progression in mice and humans.
    Nature 02/2011; 470(7333):269-73. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    Alexander H Stegh, Ronald A DePinho
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant gliomas are the most common and lethal primary central nervous system cancer. Glioblastoma mutliforme (GBM), the most aggressive of these neoplasms, are generally lethal within 2 years of diagnosis due in part to the intense apoptosis resistance of its cancer cells, hence poor therapeutic response to conventional and targeted therapies. Twenty years of research has uncovered key genetic events involved in disease initiation and progression, foremost the Tp53 tumor suppressor that is mutated or deleted in 35% of GBM. The prime importance of p53 signaling for gliomapathogenesis is further evidenced by epistatic genetic events targeting additional pathway components including deletion of p14 (Arf) (CDKN2A) and amplification of the p53-degrading ubiquitin ligases MDM2 and MDM4. Recent studies have identified and validated Bcl2-Like 12 (Bcl2L12) as a potent glioma oncoprotein with multiple strategic points in apoptosis regulatory networks, i.e. effector caspases and the p53 tumor suppressor. Bcl2L12 resides in both the cytoplasm and nucleus. In the cytoplasm, Bcl2L12 functions to inhibit caspases 3 and 7, in the nucleus, Bcl2L12 forms a complex with p53, modestly reduces p53 protein stability and prevents its binding to selected target gene promoter (e.g. p21, DR5, Noxa and PUMA), thereby inhibiting p53-directed transcriptomic changes upon DNA damage. Proteomic and multidimensional oncogenomic analyses confirmed a Bcl2L12-p53 signaling axis in GBM, as Bcl2L12 exhibited predominant genomic amplification, elevated mRNA and protein levels in GBM tumors with uncompromised p53 function. On the cell biological level, Bcl2L12 exerts robust inhibition of p53-dependent senescence and apoptosis processes in glioma cells. These multi-leveled studies establish Bcl2L12 as an important oncoprotein acting at the intersection of nuclear p53 and cytoplasmic caspase signaling and point to pharmacological disruption of the Bcl2L12:p53 complex as a promising novel therapeutic strategy for the enhanced treatment of GBM.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2011; 10(1):33-8. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal brain tumor characterized by intense apoptosis resistance and extensive necrosis. Bcl2L12 (for Bcl2-like 12) is a cytoplasmic and nuclear protein that is overexpressed in primary GBM and functions to inhibit post-mitochondrial apoptosis signaling. Here, we show that nuclear Bcl2L12 physically and functionally interacts with the p53 tumor suppressor, as evidenced by the capacity of Bcl2L12 to (1) enable bypass of replicative senescence without concomitant loss of p53 or p19 (Arf), (2) inhibit p53-dependent DNA damage-induced apoptosis, (3) impede the capacity of p53 to bind some of its target gene promoters, and (4) attenuate endogenous p53-directed transcriptomic changes following genotoxic stress. Correspondingly, The Cancer Genome Atlas profile and tissue protein analyses of human GBM specimens show significantly lower Bcl2L12 expression in the setting of genetic p53 pathway inactivation. Thus, Bcl2L12 is a multifunctional protein that contributes to intense therapeutic resistance of GBM through its ability to operate on two key nodes of cytoplasmic and nuclear signaling cascades.
    Genes & development 10/2010; 24(19):2194-204. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common type of primary brain cancer and carries a dismal prognosis primarily due to the emergence of resistance towards extant radiation, conventional and targeted chemotherapies. Although GBM resists therapy-induced apoptosis, tumors show a seemingly paradoxical propensity for florid intratumoral necrogenesis. This necrosis manifests pathologically as microscopic foci or confluent expanses of necrotic tumor. While it is now well recognized that necrosis is an active cell death process and that apoptosis and necrosis death modalities are intertwined on multiple levels, the precise molecular mechanisms and genetic elements underlying these forms of cell death in GBM remain areas of active investigation. In recent oncogenomic studies, we identified a novel GBM oncoprotein, Bcl2-Like 12 (Bcl2L12), which is significantly expressed in the majority of primary GBM tumor specimens and distantly related to canonical Bcl-2 proteins. Due to its distinctive impact on cell death signaling, Bcl2L12 phenocopies pro-necrotic and anti-apoptotic propensities of high grade glioma: Mechanistically, we determined that unlike prototypic Bcl-2 family members, Bcl2L12 does not safeguard mitochondrial membrane integrity, but instead potently inhibits apoptosis at the level of post-mitochondrial effector caspase-3/7 activation. A combination of enforced expression, RNAi-mediated extinction, co-localization and protein interaction studies revealed that Bcl2L12 inhibits caspases 3 and 7 via distinct mechanisms. Direct physical interaction underlies Bcl2L12's inhibition of caspase-7 processing, whereas Bcl2L12-induced transcriptional upregulation of the small heat shock protein alpha B-crystallin is instrumental to neutralization of caspase-3 activation. Mirroring the cellular phenotype elicited by energy depletion, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of post-mitochondrial apoptosis signaling molecules, Bcl2L12 promotes necrogenesis in glial cells in the context of a proapoptotic stimulus establishing that it represents a novel regulator of the balance between apoptosis and necrosis in GBM.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 10/2008; 7(18):2833-9. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain cancer that is characterized by the paradoxical features of intense apoptosis resistance yet a marked propensity to undergo necrosis. Bcl2L12 (for Bcl2-Like12) is a nuclear and cytoplasmic oncoprotein that is universally overexpressed in primary GBM and functions to block postmitochondrial apoptosis signaling by neutralizing effector caspase-3 and caspase-7 maturation. This postmitochondrial block in apoptosis engenders the alternate cell fate of cellular necrosis, thus providing a molecular explanation for GBM's classical features. Whereas Bcl2L12-mediated neutralization of caspase-7 maturation involves physical interaction, the mechanism governing Bcl2L12-mediated inhibition of caspase-3 activity is not known. The nuclear localization of Bcl2L12 prompted expression profile studies of primary astrocytes engineered to overexpress Bcl2L12. The Bcl2L12 transcriptome revealed a striking induction of the small heat shock protein alpha-basic-crystallin (alphaB-crystallin/HspB5), a link reinforced by robust alphaB-crystallin expression in Bcl2L12-expressing orthotopic glioma and strong coexpression of alphaB-crystallin and Bcl2L12 proteins in human primary GBMs. On the functional level, enforced alphaB-crystallin or Bcl2L12 expression enhances orthotopic tumor growth. Conversely, RNAi-mediated knockdown of alphaB-crystallin in Bcl2L12-expressing astrocytes and glioma cell lines with high endogenous alphaB-crystallin showed enhanced apoptosis, yet decreased necrotic cell death with associated increased caspase-3 but not caspase-7 activation. Mirroring this specific effect on effector caspase-3 activation, alphaB-crystallin selectively binds pro-caspase-3 and its cleavage intermediates in vitro and in vivo. Thus, alphaB-crystallin is a Bcl2L12-induced oncoprotein that enables Bcl2L12 to block the activation of both effector caspases via distinct mechanisms, thereby contributing to GBM pathogenesis and its hallmark biological properties.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2008; 105(31):10703-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant astrocytic gliomas such as glioblastoma are the most common and lethal intracranial tumors. These cancers exhibit a relentless malignant progression characterized by widespread invasion throughout the brain, resistance to traditional and newer targeted therapeutic approaches, destruction of normal brain tissue, and certain death. The recent confluence of advances in stem cell biology, cell signaling, genome and computational science and genetic model systems have revolutionized our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the genetics, biology and clinical behavior of glioblastoma. This progress is fueling new opportunities for understanding the fundamental basis for development of this devastating disease and also novel therapies that, for the first time, portend meaningful clinical responses.
    Genes & Development 12/2007; 21(21):2683-710. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Targeted therapies that inhibit receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and the downstream phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway have shown promising anticancer activity, but their efficacy in the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and other solid tumors has been modest. We hypothesized that multiple RTKs are coactivated in these tumors and that redundant inputs drive and maintain downstream signaling, thereby limiting the efficacy of therapies targeting single RTKs. Tumor cell lines, xenotransplants, and primary tumors indeed show multiple concomitantly activated RTKs. Combinations of RTK inhibitors and/or RNA interference, but not single agents, decreased signaling, cell survival, and anchorage-independent growth even in glioma cells deficient in PTEN, a frequently inactivated inhibitor of PI3K. Thus, effective GBM therapy may require combined regimens targeting multiple RTKs.
    Science 11/2007; 318(5848):287-90. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is an astrocytic brain tumor characterized by an aggressive clinical course and intense resistance to all therapeutic modalities. Here, we report the identification and functional characterization of Bcl2L12 (Bcl2-like-12) that is robustly expressed in nearly all human primary GBMs examined. Enforced Bcl2L12 expression confers marked apoptosis resistance in primary cortical astrocytes, and, conversely, its RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown sensitizes human glioma cell lines toward apoptosis in vitro and impairs tumor growth with increased intratumoral apoptosis in vivo. Mechanistically, Bcl2L12 expression does not affect cytochrome c release or apoptosome-driven caspase-9 activation, but instead inhibits post-mitochondrial apoptosis signaling at the level of effector caspase activation. One of Bcl2L12's mechanisms of action stems from its ability to interact with and neutralize caspase-7. Notably, while enforced Bcl2L12 expression inhibits apoptosis, it also engenders a pronecrotic state, which mirrors the cellular phenotype elicited by genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of post-mitochondrial apoptosis molecules. Thus, Bcl2L12 contributes to the classical tumor biological features of GBM such as intense apoptosis resistance and florid necrosis, and may provide a target for enhanced therapeutic responsiveness of this lethal cancer.
    Genes & Development 02/2007; 21(1):98-111. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis depends critically on regulated cytoskeletal reorganization events in a cell. We demonstrate that death effector domain containing DNA binding protein (DEDD), a highly conserved and ubiquitous death effector domain containing protein, exists predominantly as mono- or diubiquitinated, and that diubiquitinated DEDD interacts with both the K8/18 intermediate filament network and pro-caspase-3. Early in apoptosis, both cytosolic DEDD and its close homologue DEDD2 formed filaments that colocalized with and depended on K8/18 and active caspase-3. Subsequently, these filamentous structures collapsed into intracellular inclusions that migrated into cytoplasmic blebs and contained DEDD, DEDD2, active caspase-3, and caspase-3-cleaved K18 late in apoptosis. Biochemical studies further confirmed that DEDD coimmunoprecipitated with both K18 and pro-caspase-3, and kinetic analyses placed apoptotic DEDD staining prior to caspase-3 activation and K18 cleavage. In addition, both caspase-3 activation and K18 cleavage was inhibited by expression of DEDDDeltaNLS1-3, a cytosolic form of DEDD that cannot be ubiquitinated. Finally, siRNA mediated DEDD knockdown cells exhibited inhibition of staurosporine-induced DNA degradation. Our data suggest that DEDD represents a novel scaffold protein that directs the effector caspase-3 to certain substrates facilitating their ordered degradation during apoptosis.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2002; 158(6):1051-66. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis induction through CD95 (APO-1/Fas) critically depends on generation of active caspase-8 at the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). Depending on the cell type, active caspase-8 either directly activates caspase-3 (type I cells) or relies on mitochondrial signal amplification (type II cells). In MCF7-Fas cells that are deficient for pro-caspase-3, even high amounts of caspase-8 produced at the DISC cannot directly activate downstream effector caspases without mitochondrial help. Overexpression of Bcl-x(L) in these cells renders them resistant to CD95-mediated apoptosis. However, activation of caspase-8 in control (vector) and Bcl-x(L) transfectants of MCF7-Fas cells proceeds with similar kinetics, resulting in a complete processing of cellular caspase-8. Most of the cytosolic caspase-8 substrates are not cleaved in the Bcl-x(L) protected cells, raising the question of how Bcl-x(L)-expressing MCF7-Fas cells survive large amounts of potentially cytotoxic caspase-8. We now demonstrate that active caspase-8 is initially generated at the DISC of both MCF7-Fas-Vec and MCF7-Fas-Bcl-x(L) cells and that the early steps of CD95 signaling such as caspase-8-dependent cleavage of DISC bound c-FLIP(L), caspase-8-dependent clustering, and internalization of CD95, as well as processing of pro-caspase-8 bound to mitochondria are very similar in both transfectants. However, events downstream of mitochondria, such as release of cytochrome c, only occur in the vector-transfected MCF7-Fas cells, and no in vivo caspase-8 activity can be detected in the Bcl-x(L)-expressing cells. Our data suggest that, in Bcl-x(L)-expressing MCF7-Fas cells, active caspase-8 is sequestered on the outer mitochondrial surface presumably by association with the protein "bifunctional apoptosis regulator" in a way that does not allow substrates to be cleaved, identifying a novel mechanism of regulation of apoptosis sensitivity by mitochondrial Bcl-x(L).
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2002; 277(6):4351-60. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The death effector domain (DED) is a protein/protein interaction domain only found in proteins that are involved in apoptosis signaling. DEDD is a novel apoptosis signaling molecule that carries an N-terminal DED with complete sequence identity between the murine, rat, bovine and human domains. We previously identified two nuclear localization signals (NLS) responsible for DEDDs nuclear localization when transiently expressed. Using a new anti-DEDD antibody that allows us to stain endogenous DEDD in immunofluorescence microscopy we now detect a significant amount of DEDD in nucleoli of all cells tested. When overexpressed, DEDD localizes to nucleoli-like structures, activates caspase-6 and specifically inhibits RNA polymerase I (Pol I) dependent transcription in vivo as shown by blockage of BrUTP incorporation. The DED in DEDD is sufficient for its DNA binding, caspase-6 activating and Pol I specific transcriptional repressor activity. We have identified a third NLS in DEDD and only mutation of all three NLS generated a protein, DEDD Delta NLS1-3, that mainly localized to the cytoplasm. This protein no longer induced apoptosis, indicating that in contrast to other DED proteins, such as FADD, caspase-8 or c-FLIP, DEDD induces apoptosis from within the nucleus. This effect is abolished when specific point mutations are made within the DED. The DED in DEDD therefore represents a novel domain that is structurally similar to other DEDs but functionally different from classical DEDs found in FADD or caspase-8.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 01/2002; 8(12):1157-68. · 8.37 Impact Factor
  • A H Stegh, M E Peter
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    ABSTRACT: The expedition into the apoptosis signaling pathway, although it has just begun, has resulted in the discovery of a significant number of remarkable signaling molecules at all levels of this novel pathway After the pinnacle of this frenetic cloning effort has been reached, however, it is important to put this pathway and its constituents into a biological and pathophysiological context. It has become clear that cell death does not automatically mean activation of caspases. The recent discovery of a function of effector caspases of the apoptosis pathway outside of apoptosis is currently revolutionizing our view of these seemingly unrelated and rather counteracting processes, cell death and cell proliferation. It appears that caspases play a much more fundamental role in cells than originally expected.
    Cardiology Clinics 03/2001; 19(1):13-29. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Caspase 8 plays an essential role in the execution of death receptor-mediated apoptosis. To determine the localization of endogenous caspase 8, we used a panel of subunit-specific anti-caspase 8 monoclonal antibodies in confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. In the human breast carcinoma cell line MCF7, caspase 8 predominantly colocalized with and bound to mitochondria. After induction of apoptosis through CD95 or tumor necrosis factor receptor I, active caspase 8 translocated to plectin, a major cross-linking protein of the three main cytoplasmic filament systems, whereas the caspase 8 prodomain remained bound to mitochondria. Plectin was quantitatively cleaved by caspase 8 at Asp 2395 in the center of the molecule in all cells tested. Cleavage of plectin clearly preceded that of other caspase substrates such as poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, gelsolin, cytokeratins, or lamin B. In primary fibroblasts from plectin-deficient mice, apoptosis-induced reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, as seen in wild-type cells, was severely impaired, suggesting that during apoptosis, plectin is required for the reorganization of the microfilament system.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2000; 20(15):5665-79. · 5.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
216.28 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2013
    • Northwestern University
      • • The Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology
      • • Feinberg School of Medicine
      • • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
      Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • 2012
    • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2007–2011
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1998–2000
    • German Cancer Research Center
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany