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Cell Death Dis. 2010 Dec 2;1:e103. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2010.81.

Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) as a new tool for analysis of caspase-8/Bid-FL complex binding to cardiolipin and its functional activity.

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Institut Cochin, CNRS UMR, INSERM U, Université Paris V - R. Descartes, France.


Cardiolipin (CL) has recently been shown to be both an anchor and an essential activating platform for caspase-8 on mitochondria. These platforms may be at the mitochondrial contact sites in which truncated Bid (tBid) has been demonstrated to be located. A possible role for CL is to anchor caspase-8 at contact sites (between inner and outer membranes), facilitating its self-activation, Bid-full length (FL) cleavage, tBid generation (and Bax/Bak activation and oligomerization), mitochondrial destabilization and apoptosis. We have developed an in vitro system that mimics the mitochondrial membrane contact site platform. This system involves reconstituting caspase-8, Bid-FL and CL complexes in giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). We first validated the system by flow cytometry analysis of light-scattering properties and nonyl acridine orange staining of their CL content. Then, we used flow cytometry analysis to detect the binding of active caspase-8 to CL and the subsequent truncation of bound Bid-FL. The tBid generated interacts with CL and induces GUV breakage and partial re-vesiculation at a smaller size. Our findings suggest an active role for mitochondrial membrane lipids, particularly CL, in binding active caspase-8 and providing a docking site for Bid-FL. This phenomenon was previously only poorly documented and substantially underestimated.

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