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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Sep;37(9):1763-7. Epub 2005 Mar 14.

DAP-kinase--protector or enemy in apoptotic cell death.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Head of Molecular Genetics Division, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.


Death-associated protein (DAP)-kinase, a member of a novel subfamily of pro-apoptotic serine/threonine kinases, was recently identified as a new tumor suppressor gene with multiple functions in programmed cell death. This 160-kDa protein consists of different interaction domains that enable it to participate in seemingly contradictory pathways such as elimination of premalignant cells or cytoprotection in cellular homoeostasis. DAP-kinase is frequently inactivated by aberrant promoter methylation in many cancer types, and its expression was shown to be a useful molecular marker for cancer prognosis. Moreover, DAP-kinase is considered a regulator of neuronal apoptosis. Future investigations should allow for the evaluation of DAP-kinase as a potential target for both pro- and anti-apoptotic therapeutic interventions.

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