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Biochem J. Feb 15, 2003; 370(Pt 1): 195–203.
PMCID: PMC1223158

Molecular cloning and characterization of CIDE-3, a novel member of the cell-death-inducing DNA-fragmentation-factor (DFF45)-like effector family.


DNA fragmentation is one of the critical steps in apoptosis, which is induced by DNA fragmentation factor (DFF). DFF is composed of two subunits, a 40 kDa caspase-activated nuclease (DFF40) and a 45 kDa inhibitor (DFF45). Recently a novel family of cell-death-inducing DFF45-like effectors (CIDEs) has been identified. Among CIDEs, two from human (CIDE-A and CIDE-B) and three from mouse (CIDE-A, CIDE-B and FSP27) have been reported. In this study human CIDE-3, a novel member of CIDEs, was identified upon sequence analysis of a previously unidentified cDNA that encoded a protein of 238 amino acids. It was shown to be a human homologue of mouse FSP27, and shared homology with the CIDE-N and CIDE-C domains of CIDEs. Apoptosis-inducing activity was clearly shown by DNA-fragmentation assay of the nuclear DNA of CIDE-3 transfected 293T cells. The expression pattern of CIDE-3 was different from that of CIDE-B. As shown by Northern-blot analysis, CIDE-3 was expressed mainly in human small intestine, heart, colon and stomach, while CIDE-B showed strong expression in liver and small intestine and at a lower level in colon, kidney and spleen. Green-fluorescent-protein-tagged CIDE-3 was revealed in some cytosolic corpuscles. Alternative splicing of the CIDE-3 gene was also identified by reverse transcription PCR, revealing that two transcripts, CIDE-3 and CIDE-3alpha, were present in HepG2 and A375 cells. CIDE-3 comprised a full-length open reading frame with 238 amino acids; in CIDE-3alpha exon 3 was deleted and it encoded a protein of 164 amino acids. Interestingly the CIDE-3alpha isoform still kept the apoptosis-inducing activity and showed the same pattern of subcellular localization as CIDE-3. Consistent with its chromosome localization at 3p25, a region associated with high frequency loss of heterozygosity in many tumours, CIDE-3 may play an important role in prevention of tumorigenesis.

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Selected References

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