Role for X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein upstream of mitochondrial permeabilization

Thomas W. Owens, Fiona M. Foster, Anthony Valentijn, Andrew P. Gilmore, Charles H. Streuli

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    Apoptosis is controlled by a signaling equilibrium between prosurvival and proapoptotic pathways, such that unwanted apoptosis is avoided, but when required it occurs rapidly and efficiently. Many apoptosis regulators display dual roles, depending upon whether a cell has received an apoptotic stimulus or not. Here, we identify a novel and unexpected function for X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) that occurs when apoptosis is triggered under physiological conditions. We show that in response to loss of survival signals provided by cell adhesion, endogenous XIAP translocates from the cytosol into a mitochondrial 400-kDa complex and that this occurs very early in the apoptosis process. Membrane-associated XIAP induces mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization leading to cytochrome c and Smac release, which is dependent on Bax and Bak. Thus, although XIAP suppresses apoptosis in healthy cells, our data indicate that XIAP may contribute to it in response to a proapoptotic signal such as loss of extracellular matrix-dependent survival signaling. We suggest that, as with Bcl-2 family proteins, more diverse functions for XIAP exist than previously identified. Moreover, switching the function of proteins from anti- to proapoptotic forms may be a common theme in the efficient execution of cell death. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1081-1088
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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