Heterogeneous responses to low level death receptor activation are explained by random molecular assembly of the Caspase-8 activation platform

Anna Matveeva, Michael Fichtner, Katherine McAllister, Christopher McCann, Marc Sturrock, Daniel B Longley, Jochen H M Prehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Ligand binding to death receptors activates apoptosis in cancer cells. Stimulation of death receptors results in the formation of intracellular multiprotein platforms that either activate the apoptotic initiator Caspase-8 to trigger cell death, or signal through kinases to initiate inflammatory and cell survival signalling. Two of these platforms, the Death-Inducing Signalling Complex (DISC) and the RIPoptosome, also initiate necroptosis by building filamentous scaffolds that lead to the activation of mixed lineage kinase domain-like pseudokinase. To explain cell decision making downstream of death receptor activation, we developed a semi-stochastic model of DISC/RIPoptosome formation. The model is a hybrid of a direct Gillespie stochastic simulation algorithm for slow assembly of the RIPoptosome and a deterministic model of downstream caspase activation. The model explains how alterations in the level of death receptor-ligand complexes, their clustering properties and intrinsic molecular fluctuations in RIPoptosome assembly drive heterogeneous dynamics of Caspase-8 activation. The model highlights how kinetic proofreading leads to heterogeneous cell responses and results in fractional cell killing at low levels of receptor stimulation. It reveals that the noise in Caspase-8 activation-exclusively caused by the stochastic molecular assembly of the DISC/RIPoptosome platform-has a key function in extrinsic apoptotic stimuli recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1007374
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2019

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