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1.  KIAA1524/CIP2A promotes cancer growth by coordinating the activities of MTORC1 and MYC 
Autophagy  2014;10(7):1352-1354.
KIAA1524/CIP2A/cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A is a cancer-promoting protein that stabilizes the MYC proto-oncogene protein by inhibiting its dephosphorylation. Our recent report demonstrates that KIAA1524/CIP2A supports cancer cell growth also at the level of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (MTORC1), a key signaling module that drives cell growth by stimulating protein synthesis and inhibiting autophagy. KIAA1524/CIP2A suppresses MTORC1-associated protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity in an allosteric manner thereby stabilizing the phosphorylation of MTORC1 substrates and keeping the cell in an anabolic mode. In the absence of growth stimulating signals or nutrients, reduced MTORC1 activity triggers SQSTM1/p62-dependent autophagic degradation of KIAA1524/CIP2A enhancing the PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation of MTORC1 substrates and MYC. Thus, KIAA1524/CIP2A emerges as an oncoprotein that can coordinate the growth-promoting activities of MTORC1 and MYC in response to environmental and intrinsic cues.
PMCID: PMC4203564  PMID: 24905455
autophagy; CIP2A; phosphatase; Myc; cancer
2.  S100A11 is required for efficient plasma membrane repair and survival of invasive cancer cells 
Nature communications  2014;5:3795.
Cell migration and invasion require increased plasma membrane dynamics and ability to navigate through dense stroma, thereby exposing plasma membrane to tremendous physical stress. Yet, it is largely unknown how metastatic cancer cells acquire an ability to cope with such stress. Here we show that S100A11, a calcium-binding protein up-regulated in a variety of metastatic cancers, is essential for efficient plasma membrane repair and survival of highly motile cancer cells. Plasma membrane injury-induced entry of calcium into the cell triggers recruitment of S100A11 and Annexin A2 to the site of injury. We show that S100A11 in a complex with Annexin A2 helps reseal the plasma membrane by facilitating polymerization of cortical F-actin and excision of the damaged part of the plasma membrane. These data reveal plasma membrane repair in general and S100A11 and Annexin A2 in particular, as new targets for the therapy of metastatic cancers.
PMCID: PMC4026250  PMID: 24806074
3.  CIP2A oncoprotein controls cell growth and autophagy through mTORC1 activation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;204(5):713-727.
As part of a regulatory loop linking cell metabolism, growth, and proliferation, CIP2A promotes mTORC1-mediated cell growth and autophagy inhibition but is itself down-regulated by autophagy.
mTORC1 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1) integrates information regarding availability of nutrients and energy to coordinate protein synthesis and autophagy. Using ribonucleic acid interference screens for autophagy-regulating phosphatases in human breast cancer cells, we identify CIP2A (cancerous inhibitor of PP2A [protein phosphatase 2A]) as a key modulator of mTORC1 and autophagy. CIP2A associates with mTORC1 and acts as an allosteric inhibitor of mTORC1-associated PP2A, thereby enhancing mTORC1-dependent growth signaling and inhibiting autophagy. This regulatory circuit is reversed by ubiquitination and p62/SQSTM1-dependent autophagic degradation of CIP2A and subsequent inhibition of mTORC1 activity. Consistent with CIP2A’s reported ability to protect c-Myc against proteasome-mediated degradation, autophagic degradation of CIP2A upon mTORC1 inhibition leads to destabilization of c-Myc. These data characterize CIP2A as a distinct regulator of mTORC1 and reveals mTORC1-dependent control of CIP2A degradation as a mechanism that links mTORC1 activity with c-Myc stability to coordinate cellular metabolism, growth, and proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3941044  PMID: 24590173
4.  IFNB1/interferon-β-induced autophagy in MCF-7 breast cancer cells counteracts its proapoptotic function 
Autophagy  2013;9(3):287-302.
IFNB1/interferon (IFN)-β belongs to the type I IFNs and exerts potent antiproliferative, proapoptotic, antiangiogenic and immunemodulatory functions. Despite the beneficial effects of IFNB1 in experimental breast cancers, clinical translation has been disappointing, possibly due to induction of survival pathways leading to treatment resistance. Defects in autophagy, a conserved cellular degradation pathway, are implicated in numerous cancer diseases. Autophagy is induced in response to cancer therapies and can contribute to treatment resistance. While the type II IFN, IFNG, which in many aspects differs significantly from type I IFNs, can induce autophagy, no such function for any type I IFN has been reported. We show here that IFNB1 induces autophagy in MCF-7, MDAMB231 and SKBR3 breast cancer cells by measuring the turnover of two autophagic markers, MAP1LC3B/LC3 and SQSTM1/p62. The induction of autophagy in MCF-7 cells occurred upstream of the negative regulator of autophagy MTORC1, and autophagosome formation was dependent on the known core autophagy molecule ATG7 and the IFNB1 signaling molecule STAT1. Using siRNA-mediated silencing of several core autophagy molecules and STAT1, we provide evidence that IFNB1 mediates its antiproliferative effects independent of autophagy, while the proapoptotic function of IFNB1 was strongly enhanced in the absence of autophagy. This suggests that autophagy induced by IFNB1 promoted survival, which might contribute to tumor resistance against IFNB1 treatment. It may therefore be clinically relevant to reconcile a role for IFNB1 in the treatment of breast cancer with concomitant inhibition of autophagy.
PMCID: PMC3590251  PMID: 23221969
ATG5; ATG7; ULK1; STAT1; apoptosis; cell cycle; EIF4EBP1
5.  A comprehensive glossary of autophagy-related molecules and processes (2nd edition) 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1273-1294.
The study of autophagy is rapidly expanding, and our knowledge of the molecular mechanism and its connections to a wide range of physiological processes has increased substantially in the past decade. The vocabulary associated with autophagy has grown concomitantly. In fact, it is difficult for readers—even those who work in the field—to keep up with the ever-expanding terminology associated with the various autophagy-related processes. Accordingly, we have developed a comprehensive glossary of autophagy-related terms that is meant to provide a quick reference for researchers who need a brief reminder of the regulatory effects of transcription factors and chemical agents that induce or inhibit autophagy, the function of the autophagy-related proteins, and the roles of accessory components and structures that are associated with autophagy.
PMCID: PMC3359482  PMID: 21997368
autophagy; lysosome; mitophagy; pexophagy; stress; vacuole
6.  Identification of Cytoskeleton-Associated Proteins Essential for Lysosomal Stability and Survival of Human Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e45381.
Microtubule-disturbing drugs inhibit lysosomal trafficking and induce lysosomal membrane permeabilization followed by cathepsin-dependent cell death. To identify specific trafficking-related proteins that control cell survival and lysosomal stability, we screened a molecular motor siRNA library in human MCF7 breast cancer cells. SiRNAs targeting four kinesins (KIF11/Eg5, KIF20A, KIF21A, KIF25), myosin 1G (MYO1G), myosin heavy chain 1 (MYH1) and tropomyosin 2 (TPM2) were identified as effective inducers of non-apoptotic cell death. The cell death induced by KIF11, KIF21A, KIF25, MYH1 or TPM2 siRNAs was preceded by lysosomal membrane permeabilization, and all identified siRNAs induced several changes in the endo-lysosomal compartment, i.e. increased lysosomal volume (KIF11, KIF20A, KIF25, MYO1G, MYH1), increased cysteine cathepsin activity (KIF20A, KIF25), altered lysosomal localization (KIF25, MYH1, TPM2), increased dextran accumulation (KIF20A), or reduced autophagic flux (MYO1G, MYH1). Importantly, all seven siRNAs also killed human cervix cancer (HeLa) and osteosarcoma (U-2-OS) cells and sensitized cancer cells to other lysosome-destabilizing treatments, i.e. photo-oxidation, siramesine, etoposide or cisplatin. Similarly to KIF11 siRNA, the KIF11 inhibitor monastrol induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization and sensitized several cancer cell lines to siramesine. While KIF11 inhibitors are under clinical development as mitotic blockers, our data reveal a new function for KIF11 in controlling lysosomal stability and introduce six other molecular motors as putative cancer drug targets.
PMCID: PMC3469574  PMID: 23071517
7.  Identification of Autophagosome-associated Proteins and Regulators by Quantitative Proteomic Analysis and Genetic Screens* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2012;11(3):M111.014035.
Autophagy is one of the major intracellular catabolic pathways, but little is known about the composition of autophagosomes. To study the associated proteins, we isolated autophagosomes from human breast cancer cells using two different biochemical methods and three stimulus types: amino acid deprivation or rapamycin or concanamycin A treatment. The autophagosome-associated proteins were dependent on stimulus, but a core set of proteins was stimulus-independent. Remarkably, proteasomal proteins were abundant among the stimulus-independent common autophagosome-associated proteins, and the activation of autophagy significantly decreased the cellular proteasome level and activity supporting interplay between the two degradation pathways. A screen of yeast strains defective in the orthologs of the human genes encoding for a common set of autophagosome-associated proteins revealed several regulators of autophagy, including subunits of the retromer complex. The combined spatiotemporal proteomic and genetic data sets presented here provide a basis for further characterization of autophagosome biogenesis and cargo selection.
PMCID: PMC3316729  PMID: 22311637
8.  Engaging the lysosomal compartment to combat B cell malignancies 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2009;119(8):2133-2136.
The combination of rituximab, a type I anti-CD20 mAb, with conventional chemotherapy has significantly improved the outcome of patients with B cell malignancies. Regardless of this success, many patients still relapse with therapy-resistant disease, highlighting the need for the development of mAbs with higher capacity to induce programmed cell death. The so-called type II anti-CD20 mAbs (e.g., tositumomab) that trigger caspase-independent B cell lymphoma cell death in vitro and show superior efficacy as compared with rituximab in eradicating target cells in mouse models are emerging as the next generation of therapeutic anti-CD20 mAbs. In this issue of the JCI, Ivanov and colleagues identify the lysosomal compartment as a target for type II mAbs (see the related article beginning on page 2143). These data encourage the further clinical development of type II mAbs as well as other lysosome-targeting drugs in the treatment of B cell malignancies.
PMCID: PMC2719949  PMID: 19620776
9.  Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy in higher eukaryotes 
Klionsky, Daniel J. | Abeliovich, Hagai | Agostinis, Patrizia | Agrawal, Devendra K. | Aliev, Gjumrakch | Askew, David S. | Baba, Misuzu | Baehrecke, Eric H. | Bahr, Ben A. | Ballabio, Andrea | Bamber, Bruce A. | Bassham, Diane C. | Bergamini, Ettore | Bi, Xiaoning | Biard-Piechaczyk, Martine | Blum, Janice S. | Bredesen, Dale E. | Brodsky, Jeffrey L. | Brumell, John H. | Brunk, Ulf T. | Bursch, Wilfried | Camougrand, Nadine | Cebollero, Eduardo | Cecconi, Francesco | Chen, Yingyu | Chin, Lih-Shen | Choi, Augustine | Chu, Charleen T. | Chung, Jongkyeong | Clarke, Peter G.H. | Clark, Robert S.B. | Clarke, Steven G. | Clavé, Corinne | Cleveland, John L. | Codogno, Patrice | Colombo, María I. | Coto-Montes, Ana | Cregg, James M. | Cuervo, Ana Maria | Debnath, Jayanta | Demarchi, Francesca | Dennis, Patrick B. | Dennis, Phillip A. | Deretic, Vojo | Devenish, Rodney J. | Di Sano, Federica | Dice, J. Fred | DiFiglia, Marian | Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma | Distelhorst, Clark W. | Djavaheri-Mergny, Mojgan | Dorsey, Frank C. | Dröge, Wulf | Dron, Michel | Dunn, William A. | Duszenko, Michael | Eissa, N. Tony | Elazar, Zvulun | Esclatine, Audrey | Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa | Fésüs, László | Finley, Kim D. | Fuentes, José M. | Fueyo, Juan | Fujisaki, Kozo | Galliot, Brigitte | Gao, Fen-Biao | Gewirtz, David A. | Gibson, Spencer B. | Gohla, Antje | Goldberg, Alfred L. | Gonzalez, Ramon | González-Estévez, Cristina | Gorski, Sharon | Gottlieb, Roberta A. | Häussinger, Dieter | He, You-Wen | Heidenreich, Kim | Hill, Joseph A. | Høyer-Hansen, Maria | Hu, Xun | Huang, Wei-Pang | Iwasaki, Akiko | Jäättelä, Marja | Jackson, William T. | Jiang, Xuejun | Jin, Shengkan | Johansen, Terje | Jung, Jae U. | Kadowaki, Motoni | Kang, Chanhee | Kelekar, Ameeta | Kessel, David H. | Kiel, Jan A.K.W. | Kim, Hong Pyo | Kimchi, Adi | Kinsella, Timothy J. | Kiselyov, Kirill | Kitamoto, Katsuhiko | Knecht, Erwin | Komatsu, Masaaki | Kominami, Eiki | Kondo, Seiji | Kovács, Attila L. | Kroemer, Guido | Kuan, Chia-Yi | Kumar, Rakesh | Kundu, Mondira | Landry, Jacques | Laporte, Marianne | Le, Weidong | Lei, Huan-Yao | Lenardo, Michael J. | Levine, Beth | Lieberman, Andrew | Lim, Kah-Leong | Lin, Fu-Cheng | Liou, Willisa | Liu, Leroy F. | Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel | López-Otín, Carlos | Lu, Bo | Macleod, Kay F. | Malorni, Walter | Martinet, Wim | Matsuoka, Ken | Mautner, Josef | Meijer, Alfred J. | Meléndez, Alicia | Michels, Paul | Miotto, Giovanni | Mistiaen, Wilhelm P. | Mizushima, Noboru | Mograbi, Baharia | Monastyrska, Iryna | Moore, Michael N. | Moreira, Paula I. | Moriyasu, Yuji | Motyl, Tomasz | Münz, Christian | Murphy, Leon O. | Naqvi, Naweed I. | Neufeld, Thomas P. | Nishino, Ichizo | Nixon, Ralph A. | Noda, Takeshi | Nürnberg, Bernd | Ogawa, Michinaga | Oleinick, Nancy L. | Olsen, Laura J. | Ozpolat, Bulent | Paglin, Shoshana | Palmer, Glen E. | Papassideri, Issidora | Parkes, Miles | Perlmutter, David H. | Perry, George | Piacentini, Mauro | Pinkas-Kramarski, Ronit | Prescott, Mark | Proikas-Cezanne, Tassula | Raben, Nina | Rami, Abdelhaq | Reggiori, Fulvio | Rohrer, Bärbel | Rubinsztein, David C. | Ryan, Kevin M. | Sadoshima, Junichi | Sakagami, Hiroshi | Sakai, Yasuyoshi | Sandri, Marco | Sasakawa, Chihiro | Sass, Miklós | Schneider, Claudio | Seglen, Per O. | Seleverstov, Oleksandr | Settleman, Jeffrey | Shacka, John J. | Shapiro, Irving M. | Sibirny, Andrei | Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C.M. | Simon, Hans-Uwe | Simone, Cristiano | Simonsen, Anne | Smith, Mark A. | Spanel-Borowski, Katharina | Srinivas, Vickram | Steeves, Meredith | Stenmark, Harald | Stromhaug, Per E. | Subauste, Carlos S. | Sugimoto, Seiichiro | Sulzer, David | Suzuki, Toshihiko | Swanson, Michele S. | Tabas, Ira | Takeshita, Fumihiko | Talbot, Nicholas J. | Tallóczy, Zsolt | Tanaka, Keiji | Tanaka, Kozo | Tanida, Isei | Taylor, Graham S. | Taylor, J. Paul | Terman, Alexei | Tettamanti, Gianluca | Thompson, Craig B. | Thumm, Michael | Tolkovsky, Aviva M. | Tooze, Sharon A. | Truant, Ray | Tumanovska, Lesya V. | Uchiyama, Yasuo | Ueno, Takashi | Uzcátegui, Néstor L. | van der Klei, Ida | Vaquero, Eva C. | Vellai, Tibor | Vogel, Michael W. | Wang, Hong-Gang | Webster, Paul | Wiley, John W. | Xi, Zhijun | Xiao, Gutian | Yahalom, Joachim | Yang, Jin-Ming | Yap, George | Yin, Xiao-Ming | Yoshimori, Tamotsu | Yu, Li | Yue, Zhenyu | Yuzaki, Michisuke | Zabirnyk, Olga | Zheng, Xiaoxiang | Zhu, Xiongwei | Deter, Russell L.
Autophagy  2007;4(2):151-175.
Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,1 and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.2,3 There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
PMCID: PMC2654259  PMID: 18188003
autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
10.  Depletion of Kinesin 5B Affects Lysosomal Distribution and Stability and Induces Peri-Nuclear Accumulation of Autophagosomes in Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4424.
Enhanced lysosomal trafficking is associated with metastatic cancer. In an attempt to discover cancer relevant lysosomal motor proteins, we compared the lysosomal proteomes from parental MCF-7 breast cancer cells with those from highly invasive MCF-7 cells that express an active form of the ErbB2 (ΔN-ErbB2).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mass spectrometry analysis identified kinesin heavy chain protein KIF5B as the only microtubule motor associated with the lysosomes in MCF-7 cells, and ectopic ΔN-ErbB2 enhanced its lysosomal association. KIF5B associated with lysosomes also in HeLa cervix carcinoma cells as analyzed by subcellular fractionation. The depletion of KIF5B triggered peripheral aggregations of lysosomes followed by lysosomal destabilization, and cell death in HeLa cells. Lysosomal exocytosis in response to plasma membrane damage as well as fluid phase endocytosis functioned, however, normally in these cells. Both HeLa and MCF-7 cells appeared to express similar levels of the KIF5B isoform but the death phenotype was weaker in KIF5B-depleted MCF-7 cells. Surprisingly, KIF5B depletion inhibited the rapamycin-induced accumulation of autophagosomes in MCF-7 cells. In KIF5B-depleted cells the autophagosomes formed and accumulated in the close proximity to the Golgi apparatus, whereas in the control cells they appeared uniformly distributed in the cytoplasm.
Our data identify KIF5B as a cancer relevant lysosomal motor protein with additional functions in autophagosome formation.
PMCID: PMC2647799  PMID: 19242560
11.  Apoptosome-Independent Activation of the Lysosomal Cell Death Pathway by Caspase-9▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(21):7880-7891.
The apoptosome, a heptameric complex of Apaf-1, cytochrome c, and caspase-9, has been considered indispensable for the activation of caspase-9 during apoptosis. By using a large panel of genetically modified murine embryonic fibroblasts, we show here that, in response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF), caspase-8 cleaves and activates caspase-9 in an apoptosome-independent manner. Interestingly, caspase-8-cleaved caspase-9 induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization but failed to activate the effector caspases whereas apoptosome-dependent activation of caspase-9 could trigger both events. Consistent with the ability of TNF to activate the intrinsic apoptosis pathway and the caspase-9-dependent lysosomal cell death pathway in parallel, their individual inhibition conferred only a modest delay in TNF-induced cell death whereas simultaneous inhibition of both pathways was required to achieve protection comparable to that observed in caspase-9-deficient cells. Taken together, the findings indicate that caspase-9 plays a dual role in cell death signaling, as an activator of effector caspases and lysosomal membrane permeabilization.
PMCID: PMC1636747  PMID: 16966373
12.  Heat Shock Protein 70 Promotes Cell Survival by Inhibiting Lysosomal Membrane Permeabilization 
Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is a potent survival protein whose depletion triggers massive caspase-independent tumor cell death. Here, we show that Hsp70 exerts its prosurvival function by inhibiting lysosomal membrane permeabilization. The cell death induced by Hsp70 depletion was preceded by the release of lysosomal enzymes into the cytosol and inhibited by pharmacological inhibitors of lysosomal cysteine proteases. Accordingly, the Hsp70-mediated protection against various death stimuli in Hsp70-expressing human tumor cells as well as in immortalized Hsp70 transgenic murine fibroblasts occurred at the level of the lysosomal permeabilization. On the contrary, Hsp70 failed to inhibit the cytochrome c–induced, apoptosome-dependent caspase activation in vitro and Fas ligand–induced, caspase-dependent apoptosis in immortalized fibroblasts. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that endosomal and lysosomal membranes of tumor cells contained Hsp70. Permeabilization of purified endo/lysosomes by digitonin failed to release Hsp70, suggesting that it is physically associated with the membranes. Finally, Hsp70 positive lysosomes displayed increased size and resistance against chemical and physical membrane destabilization. These data identify Hsp70 as the first survival protein that functions by inhibiting the death-associated permeabilization of lysosomes.
PMCID: PMC2211935  PMID: 15314073
cathepsins; cell death; neoplasms; tumor necrosis factor; immunoelectron microscopy
13.  Lysosomal Membrane Permeabilization Induces Cell Death in a Mitochondrion-dependent Fashion 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(10):1323-1334.
A number of diseases are due to lysosomal destabilization, which results in damaging cell loss. To investigate the mechanisms of lysosomal cell death, we characterized the cytotoxic action of two widely used quinolone antibiotics: ciprofloxacin (CPX) or norfloxacin (NFX). CPX or NFX plus UV light (NFX*) induce lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), as detected by the release of cathepsins from lysosomes. Inhibition of the lysosomal accumulation of CPX or NFX suppresses their capacity to induce LMP and to kill cells. CPX- or NFX-triggered LMP results in caspase-independent cell death, with hallmarks of apoptosis such as chromatin condensation and phosphatidylserine exposure on the plasma membrane. LMP triggers mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP), as detected by the release of cytochrome c. Both CPX and NFX* cause Bax and Bak to adopt their apoptotic conformation and to insert into mitochondrial membranes. Bax−/− Bak−/− double knockout cells fail to undergo MMP and cell death in response to CPX- or NFX-induced LMP. The single knockout of Bax or Bak (but not Bid) or the transfection-enforced expression of mitochondrion-targeted (but not endoplasmic reticulum–targeted) Bcl-2 conferred protection against CPX (but not NFX*)-induced MMP and death. Altogether, our data indicate that mitochondria are indispensable for cell death initiated by lysosomal destabilization.
PMCID: PMC2193790  PMID: 12756268
Bax; Bcl-2; apoptosis; autophagy; caspases
14.  Diarylurea Compounds Inhibit Caspase Activation by Preventing the Formation of the Active 700-Kilodalton Apoptosome Complex 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(21):7829-7837.
The release of mitochondrial proapoptotic proteins into the cytosol is the key event in apoptosis signaling, leading to the activation of caspases. Once in the cytosol, cytochrome c triggers the formation of a caspase-activating protein complex called the apoptosome, whereas Smac/Diablo and Omi/htra2 antagonize the caspase inhibitory effect of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs). Here, we identify diarylurea compounds as effective inhibitors of the cytochrome c-induced formation of the active, approximately 700-kDa apoptosome complex and caspase activation. Using diarylureas to inhibit the formation of the apoptosome complex, we demonstrated that cytochrome c, rather than IAP antagonists, is the major mitochondrial caspase activation factor in tumor cells treated with tumor necrosis factor. Thus, we have identified a novel class of compounds that inhibits apoptosis by blocking the activation of the initiator caspase 9 by directly inhibiting the formation of the apoptosome complex. This mechanism of action is different from that employed by the widely used tetrapeptide inhibitors of caspases or known endogenous apoptosis inhibitors, such as Bcl-2 and IAPs. Thus, these compounds provide a novel specific tool to investigate the role of the apoptosome in mitochondrion-dependent death paradigms.
PMCID: PMC207649  PMID: 14560026
15.  Cathepsin B Acts as a Dominant Execution Protease in Tumor Cell Apoptosis Induced by Tumor Necrosis Factor 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;153(5):999-1010.
Death receptors can trigger cell demise dependent or independent of caspases. In WEHI-S fibrosarcoma cells, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) induced an increase in cytosolic cathepsin B activity followed by death with apoptotic features. Surprisingly, this process was enhanced by low, but effectively inhibiting, concentrations of pan-caspase inhibitors. Contrary to caspase inhibitors, a panel of pharmacological cathepsin B inhibitors, the endogenous cathepsin inhibitor cystatin A as well as antisense-mediated depletion of cathepsin B rescued WEHI-S cells from apoptosis triggered by TNF or TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. Thus, cathepsin B can take over the role of the dominant execution protease in death receptor-induced apoptosis. The conservation of this alternative execution pathway was further examined in other tumor cell lines. Here, cathepsin B acted as an essential downstream mediator of TNF-triggered and caspase-initiated apoptosis cascade, whereas apoptosis of primary cells was only minimally dependent on cathepsin B. These data imply that cathepsin B, which is commonly overexpressed in human primary tumors, may have two opposing roles in malignancy, reducing it by its proapoptotic features and enhancing it by its known facilitation of invasion.
PMCID: PMC2174340  PMID: 11381085
apoptosis; cancer; caspase independent; cathepsins; tumor necrosis factor

Results 1-15 (15)