Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 1998 Dec;139(12):4839-48.

DEFT, a novel death effector domain-containing molecule predominantly expressed in testicular germ cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5317, USA.


Apoptosis is a physiological process by which multicellular organisms eliminate unwanted cells. Death factors such as Fas ligand induce apoptosis by triggering a series of intracellular protein-protein interactions mediated by defined motifs found in the signaling molecules. One of these motifs is the death effector domain (DED), a stretch of about 80 amino acids that is shared by adaptors, regulators, and executors of the death factor pathway. We have identified the human and rat complementary DNAs encoding a novel protein termed DEFT (Death EFfector domain-containing Testicular molecule). The N-terminus of DEFT shows a high degree of homology to the DEDs found in FADD (an adaptor molecule) as well as procaspase-8/FLICE and procaspase-10/Mch4 (executors of the death program). Northern blot hybridization experiments have shown that the DEFT messenger RNA (mRNA) is expressed in a variety of human and rat tissues, with particularly abundant expression in the testis. In situ hybridization analysis further indicated the expression of DEFT mRNA in meiotic male germ cells. In a model of germ cell apoptosis induction, an increase in testis DEFT mRNA was found in immature rats after 2 days of treatment with a GnRH antagonist. Unlike FADD and procaspase-8/FLICE, overexpression of DEFT did not induce apoptosis in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Although cotransfection studies indicated that DEFT is incapable of modulating apoptosis effected by FADD and procaspase-8/FLICE, interactions between DEFT and uncharacterized DED-containing molecules in the testis remain to be studied in the future. In conclusion, we have identified a novel DED-containing protein with high expression in testis germ cells. This protein may be important in the regulation of death factor-induced apoptosis in the testis and other tissues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk