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Cancer cells often exhibit resistance to apoptotic cell death, but they may be vulnerable to other types of cell death. Elucidating additional mechanisms that govern cancer cell death is crucial for developing new therapies. Our research identified cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein 3 (CREB3) as a crucial regulator and initiator of a unique cell death mechanism known as karyoptosis. This process is characterized by nuclear shrinkage, deformation, and the loss of nuclear components following nuclear membrane rupture. We found that the N-terminal domain (aa 1-230) of full-length CREB3 (CREB3-FL), which is anchored to the nuclear inner membrane (INM), interacts with lamins and chromatin DNA. This interaction maintains a balance between the outward force exerted by tightly packed DNA and the inward constraining force, thereby preserving INM integrity. Under endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, aberrant cleavage of CREB3-FL at the INM leads to abnormal accumulation of the cleaved form of CREB3 (CREB3-CF). This accumulation disrupts the attachment of CREB3-FL to the INM, resulting in sudden rupture of the nuclear membrane and the onset of karyoptosis. Proteomic studies revealed that CREB3-CF overexpression induces a DNA damage response akin to that caused by UVB irradiation, which is associated with cellular senescence in cancer cells. These findings demonstrated that the dysregulation of CREB3-FL cleavage is a key factor in karyoptotic cell death. Consequently, these findings suggest new therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment that exploit the process of karyoptosis.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Experimental & Molecular Biology



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Immunology and Microbiology



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