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J Cell Sci. 2010 May 1;123(Pt 9):1401-6. doi: 10.1242/jcs.061143. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Activity of protein kinase CK2 uncouples Bid cleavage from caspase-8 activation.

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Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI York House, York Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.


In the present study, we quantitatively analysed the interface between apoptosis initiation and execution by determining caspase-8 activation, Bid cleavage and mitochondrial engagement (onset of mitochondrial depolarisation) in individual HeLa cervical cancer cells following exposure to tumour-necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Employing resonance-energy-transfer probes containing either the caspase-8 recognition site IETD or full-length Bid, we observed a significant delay between the times of caspase-8 activation and Bid cleavage, suggesting the existence of control steps separating these two processes. Subsequent analyses suggested that the divergence of caspase-8 activation and Bid cleavage are critically controlled by kinase signalling: inhibiting protein kinase CK2 by using 5,6-dichloro-l-(beta-D-ribofuranosyl-1)-benzimidazole (DRB) or by overexpression of a dominant-negative CK2alpha catalytic subunit largely eliminated the lag time between caspase-8 activation and Bid cleavage. We conclude that caspase-8 activation and Bid cleavage are temporally uncoupled events, providing transient tolerance to caspase-8 activities.

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