The execution of apoptosis or programmed cell death comprises both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent processes. Apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) was identified as a major player in caspase-independent cell death. It induces chromatin condensation and initial DNA cleavage via an unknown molecular mechanism. Here we report the crystal structure of human AIF at 1.8 A resolution. The structure reveals the presence of a strong positive electrostatic potential at the AIF surface, although the calculated isoelectric point for the entire protein is neutral. We show that recombinant AIF interacts with DNA in a sequence-independent manner. In addition, in cells treated with an apoptotic stimulus, endogenous AIF becomes co-localized with DNA at an early stage of nuclear morphological changes. Structure-based mutagenesis shows that DNA-binding defective mutants of AIF fail to induce cell death while retaining nuclear translocation. The potential DNA-binding site identified from mutagenesis also coincides with computational docking of a DNA duplex. These observations suggest that AIF-induced nuclear apoptosis requires a direct interaction with DNA.
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Interactor||Interactor Systematic Name||Interactor||Interactor Systematic Name||Type||Assay||Annotation||Action||Modification||Phenotype||Source||Reference||Note|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Gene||Gene Systematic Name||Gene Ontology Term||Gene Ontology Term ID||Qualifier||Aspect||Method||Evidence||Source||Assigned On||Annotation Extension||Reference|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Gene||Gene Systematic Name||Phenotype||Experiment Type||Experiment Type Category||Mutant Information||Strain Background||Chemical||Details||Reference|
|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Regulator||Regulator Systematic Name||Target||Target Systematic Name||Experiment||Assay||Construct||Conditions||Strain Background||Reference|