The cellular-stress response can mediate cellular protection through expression of heat-shock protein (Hsp) 70, which can interfere with the process of apoptotic cell death. Stress-induced apoptosis proceeds through a defined biochemical process that involves cytochrome c, Apaf-1 and caspase proteases. Here we show, using a cell-free system, that Hsp70 prevents cytochrome c/dATP-mediated caspase activation, but allows the formation of Apaf-1 oligomers. Hsp70 binds to Apaf-1 but not to procaspase-9, and prevents recruitment of caspases to the apoptosome complex. Hsp70 therefore suppresses apoptosis by directly associating with Apaf-1 and blocking the assembly of a functional apoptosome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology