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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1999 Jun;19(6):543-54.

The emerging role of the interferon-induced PKR protein kinase as an apoptotic effector: a new face of death?

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Recent research has thrown a spotlight on the interferon (IFN)-induced PKR protein kinase, implicating it as an important effector of apoptosis induced by several cellular stress conditions, including viral infection, cytokine treatment, and growth factor deprivation. In this review, we summarize the evidence for the role of PKR as a death accomplice and discuss how PKR might promote cell demise in light of current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis. Given its new found role and its established antiviral function, it is no wonder that PKR is a popular target for viral evasion of the host defense. PKR-dependent apoptosis may offer a novel cell-death pathway for specific manipulation in therapeutic strategies against apoptosis-related diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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