P62/sequestosome-1 Up-regulation promotes ABT-263-induced caspase-8 aggregation/activation on the autophagosome

Shengbing Huang, Koichi Okamoto, Chunrong Yu, Frank A. Sinicrope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Autophagy and apoptosis regulate cancer cell viability in response to cytotoxic stress; however, their functional relationship remains unclear. p62/sequestosome 1 is a multifunctional protein and a signaling hub that shuttles ubiquitinated proteins to the lysosome during autophagy. Autophagy inhibition up-regulates p62, and prior data suggest that p62 may mediate apoptosis. Here, we demonstrate that p62 can regulate a caspase-8-dependent apoptosis in response to the BH3 mimetic agent, ABT-263. Up-regulation of p62 was shown to enhance ABT-263-induced caspase-8 activation that was Bax-dependent and resulted from mitochondrial amplification. Dependence upon caspase-8 was confirmed using caspase-8-deficient cells and by caspase-8 siRNA. Ectopic wild-type p62, but not p62 mutants with loss of ability to promote apoptosis, was shown to co-localize with caspase-8 and to promote its self-aggregation in ABT-263-treated cells, shown using a bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay. Endogenous p62 colocalized with caspase-8 in the presence of ABT-263 plus an autophagy inhibitor. Caspase-8 was shown to interact and co-localize with the autophagosome marker, LC3II. Knockdown of p62 attenuated binding between caspase-8 and LC3II, whereas p62 overexpression enhanced the co-localization of caspase-8 aggregates with LC3. LC3 knockdown did not affect interaction between caspase-8 and p62, suggesting that p62 may facilitate caspase-8 translocation tothe autophagosomal membrane. A direct activator of caspase-8, i.e., TRAIL, alone or combined with ABT-263, induced caspase-8 aggregation and co-localization with p62 that was associated with a synergistic drug interaction. Together, these results demonstrate that up-regulation of p62 can mediate apoptosis via caspase-8 in the setting of autophagy inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33654-33666
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 22 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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