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J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 3;278(40):38699-706. Epub 2003 Jul 15.

The polypeptide chain-releasing factor GSPT1/eRF3 is proteolytically processed into an IAP-binding protein.

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  • 1Center for Apoptosis Research and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kimmel Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Smac/Diablo and HtrA2/Omi are inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP)-binding proteins released from the mitochondria of human cells during apoptosis and regulate apoptosis by liberating caspases from IAP inhibition. Here we describe the identification of a proteolytically processed isoform of the polypeptide chain-releasing factor GSPT1/eRF3 protein, which functions in translation, as a new IAP-binding protein. In common with other IAP-binding proteins, the processed GSPT1 protein harbors a conserved N-terminal IAP-binding motif (AKPF). Additionally, processed GSPT1 interacts biochemically with IAPs and could promote caspase activation, IAP ubiquitination and apoptosis. The IAP-binding motif of the processed GSPT1 is absolutely required for these activities. Our findings are consistent with a model whereby processing of GSPT1 into the IAP-binding isoform could potentiate apoptosis by liberating caspases from IAP inhibition, or target IAPs and the processed GSPT1 for proteasome-mediated degradation.

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