Vital function for PRELI and essential requirement for its LEA motif

Morgan Rouse McKeller, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Proteins containing the late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) motif comprise an evolutionarily conserved family, long postulated to protect plant embryos from stress and death. However, the significance of LEA-containing proteins and the mechanisms behind their function remain undetermined. Here we show that PRELI, a mammalian protein that possesses tandem repeats of the LEA motif, can protect cells against staurosporine, TNF-α or UV irradiation-induced apoptosis. We found that key to PRELI-dependent mechanisms that promote cell resistance to death are the stabilization of the respiratory chain, upholding of mitochondrial membrane potential and retention of apoptogenic molecules. By in vitro and in vivo studies, we also show that the expression of mutant PRELI/LEA- proteins lacking the LEA motif, results in the complete loss of PRELI's anti-apoptotic functions. Collectively, our data uncover a new molecular player in the control of apoptosis and support the hypothesis that LEA-containing proteins are evolutionarily conserved cell protectors against stress and death.

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Recommended Citation

McKeller, Morgan Rouse, "Vital function for PRELI and essential requirement for its LEA motif" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3305169.