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EMBO J. 2006 May 3;25(9):1895-905. Epub 2006 Apr 13.

Src kinase phosphorylates Caspase-8 on Tyr380: a novel mechanism of apoptosis suppression.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Dulbecco Telethon Institute, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


We identified Caspase-8 as a new substrate for Src kinase. Phosphorylation occurs on Tyr380, situated in the linker region between the large and the small subunits of human Procaspase-8, and results in downregulation of Caspase-8 proapoptotic function. Src activation triggers Caspase-8 phosphorylation on Tyr380 and impairs Fas-induced apoptosis. Accordingly, Src failed to protect Caspase-8-defective human cells in which a Caspase-8-Y380F mutant is expressed from Fas-induced cell death. Remarkably, Src activation upon EGF-receptor stimulation triggers endogenous Caspase-8 phosphorylation and prevents Fas-induced apoptosis. Tyr380 is phosphorylated also in human colon cancers where Src is aberrantly activated. These data provide the first evidence for a direct role of tyrosine phosphorylation in the control of caspases and reveal a new mechanism through which tyrosine kinases inhibit apoptosis and participate in tumor progression.

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