Programmed necrotic cell death induced by complement involves a bid-dependent pathway

Lea Ziporen, Natalie Donin, Taisia Shmushkovich, Atan Gross, Zvi Fishelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The membrane attack complex (MAC) of the complement system induces a necrotic-type cell death. Earlier findings suggested that Bcl-2 protects cells from MAC-induced necrosis. Here we examined the involvement of Bid, a proapoptotic protein, in MAC-induced cytotoxicity. Bid knockout (Bid-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) and primary fibroblasts were damaged by complement but to a significantly lower extent than wild-type (WT) fibroblasts. Bid silencing with small interfering RNA duplexes led to elevated resistance of mouse fibroblasts, human K562, and Jurkat cells to lysis by complement. Bid-/- MEF were also resistant to toxic doses of streptolysin O, melittin, and A23187. Analysis of complement protein deposition on fibroblasts demonstrated that less complement C3 and C9 bound to Bid-/- than to WT cells, even though expression of the membrane complement inhibitors Crry and CD59 was relatively reduced on Bid-/- cells. Bid was rapidly cleaved in WT MEF subjected to lytic doses of MAC. Pretreatment of the cells with the pan-caspase inhibitor z-Val-Ala-Asp(OMe)- fluoromethylketone reduced Bid cleavage and cell lysis. These results indicate that complement MAC activates two cell death pathways, one involving caspases and Bid and one that is Bid-independent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


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