Bando M, Hasegawa M, Tsuboi Y, Miyake Y, Shiina M, Ito M, Handa H, Nagai K, Kataoka T.
Research Center for Experimental Biology and Department of Bioengineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan.
Upon engagement with Fas ligand (FasL), Fas rapidly induces recruitment and self-processing of caspase-8 via the adaptor protein Fas-associated death domain (FADD), and activated caspase-8 cleaves downstream substrates such as caspase-3. We have found that penicillic acid (PCA) inhibits FasL-induced apoptosis and concomitant loss of cell viability in Burkitt's lymphoma Raji cells. PCA prevented activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 upon treatment with FasL. However, PCA did not affect active caspase-3 in FasL-treated cells, suggesting that PCA primarily blocks early signaling events upstream of caspase-8 activation. FasL-induced processing of caspase-8 was severely impaired in the death-inducing signaling complex, although FasL-induced recruitment of FADD and caspase-8 occurred normally in PCA-treated cells. Although PCA inhibited the enzymatic activities of active recombinant caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9 at similar concentrations, PCA exerted weak inhibitory effects on activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in staurosporine-treated cells but strongly inhibited caspase-8 activation in FasL-treated cells. Glutathione and cysteine neutralized an inhibitory effect of PCA on caspase-8, and PCA bound directly to the active center cysteine in the large subunit of caspase-8. Thus, our present results demonstrate that PCA inhibits FasL-induced apoptosis by targeting self-processing of caspase-8.
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