The PIDDosome (PIDD–RAIDD–caspase-2 complex) is considered to be the primary signaling platform for caspase-2 activation in response to genotoxic stress. Yet studies of PIDD-deficient mice show that caspase-2 activation can proceed in the absence of PIDD. Here we show that DNA damage induces the assembly of at least two distinct activation platforms for caspase-2: a cytoplasmic platform that is RAIDD dependent but PIDD independent, and a nucleolar platform that requires both PIDD and RAIDD. Furthermore, the nucleolar phosphoprotein nucleophosmin (NPM1) acts as a scaffold for PIDD and is essential for PIDDosome assembly in the nucleolus after DNA damage. Inhibition of NPM1 impairs caspase-2 processing, apoptosis, and caspase-2–dependent inhibition of cell growth, demonstrating that the NPM1-dependent nucleolar PIDDosome is a key initiator of the caspase-2 activation cascade. Thus we have identified the nucleolus as a novel site for caspase-2 activation and function.
- Submitted: 25 August 2016
- Revision received 19 January 2017
- Accepted: 3 March 2017
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