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Conserved metabolic energy production pathways govern Eiger/TNF-induced nonapoptotic cell death

Hiroshi Kanda, Tatsushi Igaki, Hideyuki Okano and Masayuki Miura
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 108, No. 47 (November 22, 2011), pp. 18977-18982
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23058634
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

Caspase-independent cell death is known to be important in physiological and pathological conditions, but its molecular regulation is not well-understood. Eiger is the sole fly ortholog of TNF. The ectopic expression of Eiger in the developing eye primordium caused JNK-dependent but caspase-independent cell death. To understand the molecular basis of this Eiger-induced nonapoptotic cell death, we performed a large-scale genetic screen in Drosophila for suppressors of the Eiger-induced cell death phenotype. We found that molecules that regulate metabolic energy production are central to this form of cell death: it was dramatically suppressed by decreased levels of molecules that regulate cytosolic glycolysis, mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acids, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and the electron transport chain. Importantly, reducing the expression of energy production-related genes did not affect the cell death triggered by proapoptotic genes, such as reaper, hid, or debcl, indicating that the energy production-related genes have a specific role in Eiger-induced nonapoptotic cell death. We also found that energy production-related genes regulate the Eiger-induced cell death downstream of JNK. In addition, Eiger induced the production of reactive oxygen species in a manner dependent on energy production-related genes. Furthermore, we showed that this cell death machinery is involved in Eiger's physiological function, because decreasing the energy production-related genes suppressed Eiger-dependent tumor suppression, an intrinsic mechanism for removing tumorigenic mutant clones from epithelia by inducing cell death. This result suggests a link between sensitivity to cell death and metabolic activity in cancer.

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