GRP78 and Raf-1 cooperatively confer resistance to endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis

Chih-Wen Shu, Fang-Chun Sun, Jun-Hung Cho, Chih-Chien Lin, Pei-Feng Liu, Ping-Yen Chen, Margaret Dah-Tsyr Chang, Hua-Wen Fu, Yiu-Kay Lai
Journal of Cellular Physiology 2008, 215 (3): 627-35
The chaperone glucose-regulated protein, 78/immunoglobulin binding protein (GRP78/Bip), protects cells from cytotoxicity induced by DNA damage or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In this study, we showed that GRP78 is a major inducible protein in human non-small cell lung cancer H460 cells treated with ER stress inducers, including A23187 and thapsigargin. AEBSF, an inhibitor of serine protease, diminished GRP78 induction, enhanced mitochondrial permeability, and augmented apoptosis in H460 cells during ER stress. Simultaneously, AEBSF promoted Raf-1 degradation and suppressed phosphorylation of Raf-1 at Ser338 and/or Tyr340 during ER stress. Coimmunoprecipitation assays and subcellular fractionations showed that GRP78 associated and colocalized with Raf-1 on the outer membrane of mitochondria, respectively. While treatment of cells with ER stress inducers inactivated BAD by phosphorylation at Ser75, a Raf-1 phosphorylation site; AEBSF attenuated phosphorylation of BAD, leading to cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Additionally, overexpression of GRP78 and/or Raf-1 protected cells from ER stress-induced apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicate that GRP78 may stabilize Raf-1 to maintain mitochondrial permeability and thus protect cells from ER stress-induced apoptosis.

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