The Multicellular Effects of VDAC1 N-Terminal-Derived Peptide

Uttpal Anand, Anna Shteinfer-Kuzmine, Gal Sela, Manikandan Santhanam, Benjamin Gottschalk, Rajaa Boujemaa-Paterski, Ohad Medalia, Wolfgang F. Graier, Varda Shoshan-Barmatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel-1 (VDAC1) protein functions in a variety of mitochondria-linked physiological and pathological processes, including metabolism and cell signaling, as well as in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. VDAC1 interacts with about 150 proteins to regulate the integration of mitochondrial functions with other cellular activities. Recently, we developed VDAC1-based peptides that have multiple effects on cancer cells and tumors including apoptosis induction. Here, we designed several cell-penetrating VDAC1 N-terminal-derived peptides with the goal of identifying the shortest peptide with improved cellular stability and activity. We identified the D-Δ(1-18)N-Ter-Antp comprising the VDAC1 N-terminal region (19–26 amino acids) fused to the Antp, a cell-penetrating peptide. We demonstrated that this peptide induced apoptosis, autophagy, senescence, cell volume enlargement, and the refusion of divided daughter cells into a single cell, it was responsible for reorganization of actin and tubulin filaments, and increased cell adhesion. In addition, the peptide induced alterations in the expression of proteins associated with cell metabolism, signaling, and division, such as enhancing the expression of nuclear factor kappa B and decreasing the expression of the nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha. These cellular effects may result from the peptide interfering with VDAC1 interaction with its interacting proteins, thereby blocking multiple mitochondrial/VDAC1 pathways associated with cell functions. The results of this study further support the role of VDAC1 as a mitochondrial gatekeeper protein in controlling a variety of cell functions via interaction with associated proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1387
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • apoptosis
  • mitochondria
  • peptide array
  • protein–protein interaction
  • voltage-dependent anion channel-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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