Zhijia Zhang

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To identify human proteins that bind to the Smac and caspase-9 binding pocket on the baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) repeat 3 (BIR3) domain of human XIAP, we used BIR3 as an affinity reagent, followed by elution with the BIR3 binding peptide AVPIA, microsequencing, and mass spectrometry. The mature serine protease Omi (also known as HtrA2)(More)
HtrA2/Omi, a mitochondrial serine protease in mammals, is important in programmed cell death. However, the underlining mechanism of HtrA2/Omi-mediated apoptosis remains unclear. Analogous to the bacterial homolog HtrA (DegP), the mature HtrA2 protein contains a central serine protease domain and a C-terminal PDZ domain. The 2.0 A crystal structure of(More)
The PYRIN and CARD domains are members of the six-helix bundle death domain-fold superfamily that mediates assembly of large signaling complexes in the apoptotic and inflammatory signaling pathways. Here we show that the PYRIN-CARD protein ASC functions as a caspase-1-activating adaptor. ASC interacted specifically with procaspase-1 via CARD-CARD(More)
The mouse mutant mnd2 (motor neuron degeneration 2) exhibits muscle wasting, neurodegeneration, involution of the spleen and thymus, and death by 40 days of age. Degeneration of striatal neurons, with astrogliosis and microglia activation, begins at around 3 weeks of age, and other neurons are affected at later stages. Here we have identified the mnd2(More)
The mature serine protease Omi/HtrA2 is released from the mitochondria into the cytosol during apoptosis. Suppression of Omi/HtrA2 by RNA interference in human cell lines reduces cell death in response to TRAIL and etoposide. In contrast, ectopic expression of mature wildtype Omi/HtrA2, but not an active site mutant, induces potent caspase activation and(More)
The molecular mechanism by which mutations in the cytoskeleton-organizing protein PSTPIP1 cause the autoinflammatory PAPA syndrome is still elusive. Here, we demonstrate that PSTPIP1 requires the familial Mediterranean fever protein pyrin to assemble the ASC pyroptosome, a molecular platform that recruits and activates caspase-1. We provide evidence that(More)
In yeast, Tim50 along with Tim23 regulate translocation of presequence-containing proteins across the mitochondrial inner membrane. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of a novel human mitochondrial inner membrane protein homologous to the yeast Tim50. We demonstrate that human Tim50 possesses phosphatase activity and is present in a(More)
Presenilin mutations are responsible for most cases of autosomal dominant inherited forms of early onset Alzheimer disease. Presenilins play an important role in amyloid beta-precursor processing, NOTCH receptor signaling, and apoptosis. However, the molecular mechanisms by which presenilins regulate apoptosis are not fully understood. Here, we report that(More)
Inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) interact with caspases and inhibit their protease activity, whereas the IAP-inhibitory proteins Smac/DIABLO in mammals and Reaper, Hid, and Grim in flies relieve IAP-mediated inhibition to induce cell death. Here we describe the functional characterization of the novel Drosophila cell death protein Sickle (Skl), which(More)
Smac/Diablo and HtrA2/Omi are inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP)-binding proteins released from the mitochondria of human cells during apoptosis and regulate apoptosis by liberating caspases from IAP inhibition. Here we describe the identification of a proteolytically processed isoform of the polypeptide chain-releasing factor GSPT1/eRF3 protein, which functions(More)