Deciphering DED assembly mechanisms in FADD-procaspase-8-cFLIP complexes regulating apoptosis

Chao Yu Yang, Chia I. Lien, Yi Chun Tseng, Yi Fan Tu, Arkadiusz W. Kulczyk, Yen Chen Lu, Yin Ting Wang, Tsung Wei Su, Li Chung Hsu, Yu Chih Lo, Su Chang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD), procaspase-8, and cellular FLICE-inhibitory proteins (cFLIP) assemble through death-effector domains (DEDs), directing death receptor signaling towards cell survival or apoptosis. Understanding their three-dimensional regulatory mechanism has been limited by the absence of atomic coordinates for their ternary DED complex. By employing X-ray crystallography and cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), we present the atomic coordinates of human FADD-procaspase-8-cFLIP complexes, revealing structural insights into these critical interactions. These structures illustrate how FADD and cFLIP orchestrate the assembly of caspase-8-containing complexes and offer mechanistic explanations for their role in promoting or inhibiting apoptotic and necroptotic signaling. A helical procaspase-8-cFLIP hetero-double layer in the complex appears to promote limited caspase-8 activation for cell survival. Our structure-guided mutagenesis supports the role of the triple-FADD complex in caspase-8 activation and in regulating receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1). These results propose a unified mechanism for DED assembly and procaspase-8 activation in the regulation of apoptotic and necroptotic signaling across various cellular pathways involved in development, innate immunity, and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3791
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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