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Nat Neurosci. 1999 Nov;2(11):978-83.

The anti-apoptotic protein ITA is essential for NGF-mediated survival of embryonic chick neurons.

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Klinische Forschergruppe Neuroregeneration, Department of Neurology, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str.11, 97080 Wuerzburg, Germany.


The avian ITA is homologous to the baculoviral and mammalian inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, which can prevent apoptosis by inhibition of specific caspases. We investigated the role of ITA in embryonic chick sympathetic and dorsal root ganglionic neurons, which depend on nerve growth factor (NGF) for their survival. Within 6 hours, NGF upregulated ITA protein production more than 25-fold in sensory and sympathetic neurons. Overexpression of ITA in primary neurons supported survival of these cells in the absence of NGF, and ita antisense constructs inhibited NGF-mediated survival. Thus the induction of ITA expression seems to be an essential signaling event for survival of sympathetic and dorsal root ganglionic sensory neurons in response to NGF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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