The mitochondrial protein apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) plays a pivotal role in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1)-mediated cell death (parthanatos), during which it is released from the mitochondria and translocates to the nucleus. Here, we show that AIF is a high affinity poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR)–binding protein and that PAR binding to AIF is required for parthanatos both in vitro and in vivo. AIF bound PAR at a site distinct from AIF’s DNA binding site and this interaction triggered AIF release from the cytosolic side of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Mutation of the PAR binding site in AIF did not affect its NADH oxidase activity, its ability to bind FAD or DNA, or its ability to induce nuclear condensation. However, this AIF mutant was not released from mitochondria and did not translocate to the nucleus or mediate cell death following PARP-1 activation. These results suggest a mechanism for PARP-1 to initiate AIF-mediated cell death and indicate that AIF’s bioenergetic cell survival-promoting functions are separate from its effects as a mitochondrially-derived death effector. Interference with the PAR-AIF interaction or PAR signaling may provide unique opportunities for preventing cell death following activation of PARP-1.
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) plays a pivotal role in multiple neurologic diseases by mediating caspase-independent cell death, which has recently been designated parthanatos to distinguish it from other forms of cell death such as apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy. Mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) release and translocation to the nucleus is the commitment point for parthanatos. This process involves a pathogenic role of poly (ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer. It generates in the nucleus and translocates to the mitochondria to mediate AIF release following lethal PARP-1 activation. PAR polymer itself is toxic to cells. Thus, PAR polymer signaling to mitochondrial AIF is the key event initiating the deadly crosstalk between the nucleus and the mitochondria in parthanatos. Targeting PAR-mediated AIF release could be a potential approach for the therapy of neurologic disorders.
Inhibition or genetic deletion of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is protective against toxic insults in many organ systems. The molecular mechanisms underlying PARP-1–dependent cell death involve release of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and its translocation to the nucleus, which results in chromatinolysis. We identified macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) as a PARP-1–dependent AIF-associated nuclease (PAAN). AIF was required for recruitment of MIF to the nucleus, where MIF cleaves genomic DNA into large fragments. Depletion of MIF, disruption of the AIF-MIF interaction, or mutation of glutamic acid at position 22 in the catalytic nuclease domain blocked MIF nuclease activity and inhibited chromatinolysis, cell death induced by glutamate excitotoxicity, and focal stroke. Inhibition of MIF's nuclease activity is a potential therapeutic target for diseases caused by excessive PARP-1 activation.
Altered epigenetic reprogramming contributes to breast cancer progression and metastasis. How the epigenetic reader mediates breast cancer progression remains poorly understood. Here, we showed that the epigenetic reader zinc finger MYND-type containing 8 (ZMYND8) is induced by HIF-1 and HIF-2 in breast cancer cells and also upregulated in human breast tumors, and is correlated with poor survival of patients with breast cancer. Genetic deletion of ZMYND8 decreases breast cancer cell colony formation, migration, and invasion in vitro, and inhibits breast tumor growth and metastasis to the lungs in mice. The ZMYND8's oncogenic effect in breast cancer requires HIF-1 and HIF-2. We further showed that ZMYND8 interacts with HIF-1α and HIF-2α and enhances elongation of the global HIF-induced oncogenic genes by increasing recruitment of BRD4 and subsequent release of paused RNA polymerase II in breast cancer cells. ZMYND8 acetylation at lysines 1007 and 1034 by p300 is required for HIF activation and breast cancer progression and metastasis. These findings uncover a primary epigenetic mechanism of HIF activation and HIF-mediated breast cancer progression, and discover a possible molecular target for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Several serine proteases including thrombin, tissue-type plasminogen activator and urokinase-type plasminogen activator have been well characterized in the brain. In this article, we review the brain-related trypsin and trypsin-like serine proteases. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that trypsin and trypsin-like serine proteases play very important roles in neural development, plasticity, neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration in the brain. Neuropsin is able to hydrolyze the extracellular matrix components by its active site serine, and regulates learning and memory in normal brain. The mutant neurotrypsin contributes to mental retardation in children. Neurosin seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Although mesotrypsin/trypsin IV is also implicated in neurodegeneration, its functional significance still remains largely unknown. Particularly, mesotrypsin/trypsin IV, P22 and neurosin exert their physiological and pathological functions through activation of certain protease-activated receptors (PARs). In the brain, the presence of serpins controls the activity of serine proteases. Therefore, understanding the interaction among brain trypsin, serpins and PARs will provide invaluable tools for regulating normal brain functions and for the clinical treatment of neural disorders.
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