The Siva-1 putative amphipathic helical region (SAH) is sufficient to bind to BCL-XL and sensitize cells to UV radiation induced apoptosis

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The human Siva gene is localized to chromosome 14q32- 33 and gives rise to the full-length predominant form, Siva-1 and a minor alternate form, Siva-2 that appears to lack the proapoptotic properties of Siva-1. Our recent work has shown that the missing region in Siva-2 encodes a unique twenty amino acid putative amphipathic helical region (SAH, residues 36–55 in Siva-1). Despite the fact that Siva-1 does not belong to the BCL-2 family, it specifically interacts with the anti-apoptotic protein BCLXL and sensitizes MCF7 breast cancer cells expressing BCL-XL to UV radiation induced apoptosis. Deletion mutagenesis has mapped the necessary region to the SAH in Siva-1. In this paper we demonstrate that the SAH region in Siva-1 is sufficient to specifically interact with the antiapoptotic members of the BCL2 family such as BCL-XL and BCL-2 but not its apoptotic member BAX. Using transient transfections and direct microinjection of synthetic SAH peptides, we also demonstrate that the SAH region is sufficient to inhibit the BCL-XL mediated cell survival and render MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 breast cancer cells expressing BCL-XL highly susceptible to UV radiation induced apoptosis. The underlying mechanism of action of SAH mediated inhibition of BCL-XL (and/or BCL2) cell survival appears to be due to loss of mitochondrial integrity as reflected in enhanced cytochrome c release leading to the activation of caspase 9 and finally caspase 3.


Copyright © 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.