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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The mycotoxin penicillic acid inhibits Fas ligand- induced apoptosis by blocking self-processing of caspase-8 in death-inducing signaling complex.

Upon engagement with Fas ligand (FasL), Fas rapidly induces recruitment and self-processing of caspase-8 via the adaptor protein Fas- associated death domain (FADD), and activated caspase-8 cleaves downstream substrates such as caspase-3. We have found that penicillic acid (PCA) inhibits FasL-induced apoptosis and concomitant loss of cell viability in Burkitt's lymphoma Raji cells. PCA prevented activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 upon treatment with FasL. However, PCA did not affect active caspase-3 in FasL-treated cells, suggesting that PCA primarily blocks early signaling events upstream of caspase-8 activation. FasL- induced processing of caspase-8 was severely impaired in the death-inducing signaling complex, although FasL- induced recruitment of FADD and caspase-8 occurred normally in PCA-treated cells. Although PCA inhibited the enzymatic activities of active recombinant caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9 at similar concentrations, PCA exerted weak inhibitory effects on activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in staurosporine-treated cells but strongly inhibited caspase-8 activation in FasL-treated cells. Glutathione and cysteine neutralized an inhibitory effect of PCA on caspase-8, and PCA bound directly to the active center cysteine in the large subunit of caspase-8. Thus, our present results demonstrate that PCA inhibits FasL- induced apoptosis by targeting self-processing of caspase-8.[1]


  1. The mycotoxin penicillic acid inhibits Fas ligand-induced apoptosis by blocking self-processing of caspase-8 in death-inducing signaling complex. Bando, M., Hasegawa, M., Tsuboi, Y., Miyake, Y., Shiina, M., Ito, M., Handa, H., Nagai, K., Kataoka, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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