Identification and characterization of DEDD2, a death effector domain-containing protein.
A novel Death Effector Domain-containing protein was identified, DEDD2, which is closest in amino acid sequence homology to death effector domain-containing DNA-binding protein, DEDD. DEDD2 mRNA is expressed widely in adult human tissues with highest levels in liver, kidney, and peripheral blood leukocytes. DEDD2 interacts with FLIP, but not with Fas-associated death domain (FADD) or caspase-8. Overexpression of DEDD2 induces moderate apoptosis and results in substantial sensitization to apoptosis induced by Fas (CD95/APO-1), tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL, Apo2L), or FADD. In contrast, Bax- or staurosporine-mediated cell death is not affected by expression of DEDD2. Fluorescence microscopy showed that overexpressed DEDD2 translocates to the nucleus, which is dependent on the presence of a bipartite nuclear localization signal in the DEDD2 protein. Mutagenesis studies revealed that the translocation of the DED of DEDD2 to the nucleus is essential for its pro-apoptotic activity. These findings suggest that DEDD2 is involved in the regulation of nuclear events mediated by the extrinsic apoptosis pathway.