Targeting the ESCRT-III component CHMP2A for noncanonical Caspase-8 activation on autophagosomal membranes

Tatsuya Hattori, Yoshinori Takahashi, Longgui Chen, Zhenyuan Tang, Carson A. Wills, Xinwen Liang, Hong Gang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Autophagosomal membranes can serve as activation platforms for intracellular death-inducing signaling complexes (iDISCs) to initiate Caspase-8-dependent apoptosis. In this study, we explore the impact of ESCRT-III-dependent phagophore closure on iDISC assemblies and cell death in osteosarcoma and neuroblastoma cells. Inhibition of phagophore closure by conditional depletion of CHMP2A, an ESCRT-III component, stabilizes iDISCs on immature autophagosomal membranes and induces Caspase-8-dependent cell death. Importantly, suppression of the iDISC formation via deletion of ATG7, an E1 enzyme for ubiquitin-like autophagy-related proteins, blocks Caspase-8 activation and cell death following CHMP2A depletion. Although DR5 expression and TRAIL-induced apoptosis are enhanced in CHMP2A-depleted cells, the canonical extrinsic pathway of apoptosis is not responsible for the initiation of cell death by CHMP2A depletion. Furthermore, the loss of CHMP2A impairs neuroblastoma tumor growth associated with decreased autophagy and increased apoptosis in vivo. Together, these findings indicate that inhibition of the ESCRT-III-dependent autophagosome sealing process triggers noncanonical Caspase-8 activation and apoptosis, which may open new avenues for therapeutic targeting of autophagy in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-670
Number of pages14
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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