Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2008 Jul 18;283(29):20149-58. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M802846200. Epub 2008 May 8.

Phosphorylation of murine caspase-9 by the protein kinase casein kinase 2 regulates its cleavage by caspase-8.

Author information

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Previous studies from our laboratory had indicated that cytochrome c-independent processing and activation of caspase-9 by caspase-8 contributed to early amplification of the caspase cascade in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-treated murine cells. Here we show that murine caspase-9 is phosphorylated by casein kinase 2 (CK2) on a serine near the site of caspase-8 cleavage. CK2 has been shown to regulate cleavage of the pro-apoptotic Bid protein by phosphorylating serine residues near its caspase-8 cleavage site. Similarly, CK2 modification of Ser(348) on caspase-9 appears to render the protease refractory to cleavage by active caspase-8. This phosphorylation did not affect the ability of caspase-9 to autoprocess. Substitution of Ser(348) abolished phosphorylation but not cleavage, and a phospho-site mutant promoted apoptosis in TNF-alpha-treated caspase-9 knock-out mouse embryo fibroblasts. Furthermore, inhibition of CK2 activity and RNA interference-mediated knockdown of the kinase accelerated caspase-9 activation, whereas phosphatase inhibition delayed both caspase-9 activation and death in response to TNF receptor occupation. Taken together, these studies show that TNF receptor cross-linking promotes dephosphorylation of caspase-9, rendering it susceptible to processing by activated caspase-8 protein. Thus, our data suggest that modification of procaspase-9 to protect it from inappropriate cleavage and activation is yet another mechanism by which the oncogenic kinase CK2 promotes survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk