Galpha(i)-coupled receptors comprise a diverse family of receptors that induce transformation by largely unknown mechanisms. We previously found that the Galpha(i)-coupled dopamine-D2short (D2S) receptor transforms Balb-D2S cells via Gαi3. To identify new Gαi effectors, a yeast two-hybrid screen was done using constitutively active Gαi3-Q204L as bait, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα)-induced protein 8 (TNFAIP8, SCC-S2/NDED/GG2-1) was identified. In contrast, TNFAIP8-related TIPE1 and TIPE2 showed a very weak interaction with Gαi3. In yeast mating, in vitro pull-down, co-immunoprecipitation and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assays, TNFAIP8 preferentially interacted with activated Gαi proteins, consistent with direct Gαi-TNFAIP8 coupling. Over-expression or depletion of TNFAIP8 using antisense constructs in Balb-D2S cells did not affect D2S-induced signaling to Gαi-dependent inhibition of cAMP. In contrast, antisense depletion of TNFAIP8 completely inhibited spontaneous and D2S-induced foci formation, consistent with a role for TNFAIP8 in Gαi-dependent transformation. To address possible mechanisms, the effect of D2S signaling via TNFAIP8 on TNFα action was examined. D2S receptor activation inhibited TNFα-induced cell death in Balb-D2S cells, but not in cells depleted of TNFAIP8. However, depletion of TNFAIP8 did not prevent D2S-induced inhibition of TNFα-mediated caspase activation, suggesting that D2S/TNFAIP8-induced protection from TNFα-induced cell death is caspase-independent. The data suggest that Gαi-TNFAIP8-mediated rescue of pre-oncogenic cells enhances progression to oncogenic transformation, providing a selective target to inhibit cellular transformation.
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.