Phosphorylation of mitochondrial phospholipid scramblase 3 by protein kinase C-δ induces its activation and facilitates mitochondrial targeting of tBid Academic Article uri icon

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  • Phospholipid scramblase 3 (PLS3) is a member of the phospholipid scramblase family present in mitochondria. PLS3 plays an important role in regulation of mitochondrial morphology, respiratory function, and apoptotic responses. PLS3 is phosphorylated by PKC-delta at Thr21 and is the mitochondrial target of PKC-delta-induced apoptosis. Cells with overexpression of PLS3, but not the phosphoinhibitory mutant PLS3(T21A), are more susceptible to apoptosis induced by AD198, an extranuclear targeted anthracycline that activates PKC-delta. Here we report that the phosphomimetic mutant of PLS3(T21D) by itself can induce apoptosis in HeLa cells. Using proteoliposomes with addition of pyrene-labeled phosphatidylcholine (PC) at the outer leaflet, we measured the lipid flip-flop activity of PLS3 and its phosphorylation mutant. PLS3(T21D) is more potent than wild-type PLS3 or PLS3(T21A) to transfer pyrene-PC from the outer leaflet to the inner leaflet of liposomes. Based on our previous finding that PLS3 enhances tBid-induced mitochondrial damages, we tested the hypothesis that PLS3 enhances cardiolipin translocation to mitochondrial surface and facilitates tBid targeting. Fluorescein-labeled tBid(G94E) was used as a probe to quantify cardiolipin on the surface of mitochondria. Mitochondria from cells treated with AD198 or cells expressing PLS3(T21D) had a higher level of tBid-binding capacity than control cells or cells expressing wild-type PLS3. These findings indicate that phosphorylation of PLS3 by PKC-delta induces PLS3 activation to facilitate mitochondrial targeting of tBid and apoptosis.


  • He, Yongwen
  • Liu, Jihua
  • Grossman, Douglas
  • Durrant, David
  • Sweatman, Trevor
  • Lothstein, Leonard
  • Epand, Raquel F
  • Epand, Richard
  • Lee, Ray M

publication date

  • August 1, 2007

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