2015 Nov 3;10(11):e0141692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141692. eCollection 2015.
Identification and Characterization of the Interaction Site between cFLIPL and Calmodulin.
Overexpression of the cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein (cFLIP) has been reported in a number of tumor types. As an inactive procaspase-8 homologue, cFLIP is recruited to the intracellular assembly known as the Death Inducing Signaling Complex (DISC) where it inhibits apoptosis, leading to cancer cell proliferation. Here we characterize the molecular details of the interaction between cFLIPL and calmodulin, a ubiquitous calcium sensing protein. By expressing the individual domains of cFLIPL, we demonstrate that the interaction with calmodulin is mediated by the N-terminal death effector domain (DED1) of cFLIPL. Additionally, we mapped the interaction to a specific region of the C-terminus of DED1, referred to as DED1 R4. By designing DED1/DED2 chimeric constructs in which the homologous R4 regions of the two domains were swapped, calmodulin binding properties were transferred to DED2 and removed from DED1. Furthermore, we show that the isolated DED1 R4 peptide binds to calmodulin and solve the structure of the peptide-protein complex using NMR and computational refinement. Finally, we demonstrate an interaction between cFLIPL and calmodulin in cancer cell lysates. In summary, our data implicate calmodulin as a potential player in DISC-mediated apoptosis and provide evidence for a specific interaction with the DED1 of cFLIPL.
Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 9893 doi:10.1038/srep09893
A novel caspase 8 selective small molecule potentiates TRAIL-induced cell death
Octavian Bucur, Gabriel Gaidos, Achani Yatawara, Bodvael Pennarun, Chamila Rupasinghe, Jérémie Roux, Stefan Andrei, Bingqian Guo, Alexandra Panaitiu, Maria Pellegrini, Dale F. Mierke & Roya Khosravi-Far
Recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against TRAIL receptors (DR4 and DR5) are currently being created for clinical cancer therapy, due to their selective killing of cancer cells and high safety characteristics. However, resistance to TRAIL and other targeted therapies is an important issue facing current cancer research field. An attractive strategy to sensitize resistant malignancies to TRAIL-induced cell death is the design of small molecules that target and promote caspase 8 activation. For the first time, we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule that directly binds caspase 8 and enhances its activation when combined with TRAIL, but not alone. The molecule was identified through an in silico chemical screen for compounds with affinity for the caspase 8 homodimer’s interface. The compound was experimentally validated to directly bind caspase 8, and to promote caspase 8 activation and cell death in single living cells or population of cells, upon TRAIL stimulation. Our approach is a proof-of-concept strategy leading to the discovery of a novel small molecule that not only stimulates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, but may also provide insights into the structure-function relationship of caspase 8 homodimers as putative targets in cancer.
“Targeting the IKK-binding Domain of NEMO for Inhibitors Discovery”
Issue Date: 09/12/2014
Project Period: 09/20/2014 – 08/31/2017