Vps41, a protein involved in lysosomal trafficking, interacts with caspase-8.

  • Lu Wang The State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and School of Stomatology, Affiliated Stomatological Hospital, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China.;
  • Xiao Pan
  • Liangqiang He
  • Rong Zhang
  • Wei Chen
  • Jing Zhang
  • Min Lu
  • Zi-Chun Hua


Caspase-8 is a member of the cysteine-aspartic acid protease (caspase) family which plays a central role in apoptosis and development. We screened caspase-8 interacting proteins from mouse T-cell lymphoma and 7.5-day embryo cDNA libraries by yeast two-hybrid system and obtained eleven positive clones, including Vacuolar protein sorting 41 (Vps41), a protein involved in trafficking of proteins from the late Golgi to the vacuole. The interaction of Vps41 with caspase-8 was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) and co-localization studies in HEK293T cells. Co-IP experiments also showed that Vps41 binds to the p18 subunit of caspase-8 through its WD40 region and RING-finger motif. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of Vps41 promotes Fas-induced apoptosis in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells. The cleavage of caspase-3, a caspase-8 downstream effector, was increased when cells were transfected with Vps41-overexpressing plasmid. Together, these results suggest a novel interaction of caspase-8 with Vps41 and provide a potential role of Vps41 beyond lysosomal trafficking.