Development of novel methods that monitor necroptosis and the release of DAMPs at the single cell resolution

Cell Stress. 2019 Jan 22;3(2):66-69. doi: 10.15698/cst2019.02.177.


Necroptosis is a regulated form of necrosis that depends on receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK)3 and mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL). While danger-associated molecular pattern (DAMP)s are released from dead cells and involved in various pathological conditions, the mechanisms underlying regulation of the release of DAMPs are not fully understood. Apoptosis and pyroptosis can be detected by several types of sensors such as Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors, termed SCAT1 (a sensor for caspase 1 activation based on FRET) and SCAT3, respectively. These sensors have provided better understanding of pyroptosis and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. However, there have been no biosensors to monitor necroptosis. Development of a FRET biosensor that monitors necroptosis and generation of transgenic mice expressing such FRET biosensor might be useful to understand the mechanisms underlying the execution of necroptosis and also the consequences of necroptosis in vivo. In our recent study (Nat Commun, 9(1):4457), we developed a FRET biosensor for necroptosis, termed SMART (a sensor for MLKL activation by RIPK3 based on FRET). SMART is composed of a fragment of MLKL and monitors necroptosis, but not apoptosis or necrosis. Moreover, we recently developed a platform called Live-Cell Imaging for Secretion activity (LCI-S) to monitor protein secretion at the single cell level. This platform has enabled us to monitor the release of HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1), one of the DAMPs, at the single cell level and reveals two different modes of the release of HMGB1 from necroptotic cells.

Keywords: Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET); danger-associated molecular pattern (DAMP)s; high mobility group (HMGB)1; mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL); necroptosis; receptor-interacting kinase (RIPK)3; the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complex; total internal reflection fluorescent microscope (TIRF-M).

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