The plant decapeptide OSIP108 prevents copper-induced apoptosis in yeast and human cells

Pieter Spincemaille, Gursimran Chandhok, Benjamin Newcomb, Jef Verbeek, Kim Vriens, Andree Zibert, Hartmut Schmidt, Yusuf A. Hannun, Jos van Pelt, David Cassiman, Bruno P.A. Cammue, Karin Thevissen

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We previously identified the Arabidopsis thaliana-derived decapeptide OSIP108, which increases tolerance of plants and yeast cells to oxidative stress. As excess copper (Cu) is known to induce oxidative stress and apoptosis, and is characteristic for the human pathology Wilson disease, we investigated the effect of OSIP108 on Cu-induced toxicity in yeast. We found that OSIP108 increased yeast viability in the presence of toxic Cu concentrations, and decreased the prevalence of Cu-induced apoptotic markers. Next, we translated these results to the human hepatoma HepG2 cell line, demonstrating anti-apoptotic activity of OSIP108 in this cell line. In addition, we found that OSIP108 did not affect intracellular Cu levels in HepG2 cells, but preserved HepG2 mitochondrial ultrastructure. As Cu is known to induce acid sphingomyelinase activity of HepG2 cells, we performed a sphingolipidomic analysis of OSIP108-treated HepG2 cells. We demonstrated that OSIP108 decreased the levels of several sphingoid bases and ceramide species. Moreover, exogenous addition of the sphingoid base dihydrosphingosine abolished the protective effect of OSIP108 against Cu-induced cell death in yeast. These findings indicate the potential of OSIP108 to prevent Cu-induced apoptosis, possibly via its effects on sphingolipid homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1215
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Ceramide
  • Copper
  • OSIP108
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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