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Structural and biochemical studies on procaspase-8: New insights on initiator caspase activation


Keller, M; Mares, J; Zerbe, O; Grütter, M G (2009). Structural and biochemical studies on procaspase-8: New insights on initiator caspase activation. Structure, 17(3):438-448.

Abstract

Caspases are proteases with an active-site cysteine and aspartate specificity in their substrates. They are involved in apoptotic cell death and inflammation, and dysfunction of these enzymes is directly linked to a variety of diseases. Caspase-8 initiates an apoptotic pathway triggered by external stimuli. It was previously characterized in its active inhibitor bound state by crystallography. Here we present the solution structure of the monomeric unprocessed catalytic domain of the caspase-8 zymogen, procaspase-8, showing for the first time the position of the linker and flexibility of the active site forming loops. Biophysical studies of carefully designed mutants allowed disentangling dimerization and processing, and we could demonstrate lack of activity of monomeric uncleaved procaspase-8 and of a processed but dimerization-incompetent mutant. The data provide experimental support in so-far unprecedented detail, and reveal why caspase-8 (and most likely other initiator caspases) needs the dimerization platform during activation.

Abstract

Caspases are proteases with an active-site cysteine and aspartate specificity in their substrates. They are involved in apoptotic cell death and inflammation, and dysfunction of these enzymes is directly linked to a variety of diseases. Caspase-8 initiates an apoptotic pathway triggered by external stimuli. It was previously characterized in its active inhibitor bound state by crystallography. Here we present the solution structure of the monomeric unprocessed catalytic domain of the caspase-8 zymogen, procaspase-8, showing for the first time the position of the linker and flexibility of the active site forming loops. Biophysical studies of carefully designed mutants allowed disentangling dimerization and processing, and we could demonstrate lack of activity of monomeric uncleaved procaspase-8 and of a processed but dimerization-incompetent mutant. The data provide experimental support in so-far unprecedented detail, and reveal why caspase-8 (and most likely other initiator caspases) needs the dimerization platform during activation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry

07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
540 Chemistry
Language:English
Date:March 2009
Deposited On:17 Mar 2009 07:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:11
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0969-2126
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2008.12.019

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