Hellwig et al. published in Cell Death & Differentiation

August 6, 2021

Proteasome inhibition triggers the formation of TRAIL receptor 2 platforms for caspase-8 activation that accumulate in the cytosol

Christian T. Hellwig, M. Eugenia Delgado, Josip Skoko, Lydia Dyck, Carol Hanna, Alexa Wentges, Claudia Langlais, Cathrin Hagenlocher, Alexandra Mack, David Dinsdale, Kelvin Cain, Marion MacFarlane & Markus Rehm 


Cancer cells that are resistant to Bax/Bak-dependent intrinsic apoptosis can be eliminated by proteasome inhibition. Here, we show that proteasome inhibition induces the formation of high molecular weight platforms in the cytosol that serve to activate caspase-8. The activation complexes contain Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (RIPK1). Furthermore, the complexes contain TRAIL-receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) but not TRAIL-receptor 1 (TRAIL-R1). While RIPK1 inhibition or depletion did not affect proteasome inhibitor-induced cell death, TRAIL-R2 was found essential for efficient caspase-8 activation, since the loss of TRAIL-R2 expression abrogated caspase processing, significantly reduced cell death, and promoted cell re-growth after drug washout. Overall, our study provides novel insight into the mechanisms by which proteasome inhibition eliminates otherwise apoptosis-resistant cells, and highlights the crucial role of a ligand-independent but TRAIL-R2-dependent activation mechanism for caspase-8 in this scenario.


doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00843-7

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