PKC-mediated phosphorylation regulates c-FLIP ubiquitylation and stability

Kaunisto, Vitaly Kochin, Tomoko Asaoka, Mikhailov, Poukkula, Annika Meinander, John Eriksson

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    Cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) proteins are crucial regulators of the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) and caspase-8 activation. To date, three c-FLIP isoforms with distinct functions and regulation have been identified. Our previous studies have shown that the stability of c-FLIP proteins is subject to isoform-specific regulation, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been known. Here, we identify serine 193 as a novel in vivo phosphorylation site of all c-FLIP proteins and demonstrate that S193 phosphorylation selectively influences the stability of the short c-FLIP isoforms, as S193D mutation inhibits the ubiquitylation and selectively prolongs the half-lives of c-FLIP short (c-FLIP(S)) and c-FLIP Raji (c-FLIP(R)). S193 phosphorylation also decreases the ubiquitylation of c-FLIP long (c-FLIP(L)) but, surprisingly, does not affect its stability, indicating that S193 phosphorylation has a different function in c-FLIP(L). The phosphorylation of this residue is operated by the protein kinase C (PKC), as S193 phosphorylation is markedly increased by treatment with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and decreased by inhibition of PKCalpha and PKCbeta. S193 mutations do not affect the ability of c-FLIP to bind to the DISC, although S193 phosphorylation is increased by death receptor stimulation. Instead, S193 phosphorylation affects the intracellular level of c-FLIP(S), which then determines the sensitivity to death-receptor-mediated apoptosis. These results reveal that the differential stability of c-FLIP proteins is regulated in an isoform-specific manner by PKC-mediated phosphorylation.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1215–1226
    JournalCell Death and Differentiation
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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