Specific cleavage of Mcl-1 by caspase-3 in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis in Jurkat leukemia T cells

Changjiang Weng, Yuan Li, Dan Xu, Yong Shi, Hong Tang
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2005 March 18, 280 (11): 10491-500
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces programmed cell death through the caspase activation cascade and translocation of cleaved Bid (tBid) by the apical caspase-8 to mitochondria to induce oligomerization of multidomain Bax and Bak. However, the roles of prosurvival Bcl-2 family proteins in TRAIL apoptosis remain elusive. Here we showed that, besides the specific cleavage and activation of Bid by caspase-8 and caspase-3, TRAIL-induced apoptosis in Jurkat T cells required the specific cleavage of Mcl-1 at Asp-127 and Asp-157 by caspase-3, while other prototypic antiapoptotic factors such as Bcl-2 or Bcl-X(L) seemed not to be affected. Mutation at Asp-127 and Asp-157 of Mcl-1 led to cellular resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In sharp contrast to cycloheximide-induced Mcl-1 dilapidation, TRAIL did not activate proteasomal degradation of Mcl-1 in Jurkat cells. We further established for the first time that the C-terminal domain of Mcl-1 became proapoptotic as a result of caspase-3 cleavage, and its physical interaction and cooperation with tBid, Bak, and voltage-dependent anion-selective channel 1 promoted mitochondrial apoptosis. These results suggested that removal of N-terminal domains of Bid by caspase-8 and Mcl-1 by caspase-3 enabled the maximal mitochondrial perturbation that potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

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