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Mol Cell. 1999 Nov;4(5):757-69.

Control of the cell death pathway by Dapaf-1, a Drosophila Apaf-1/CED-4-related caspase activator.

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Department of Neuroscience, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


We identified a Drosophila Apaf-1/CED-4 homolog gene, dapaf-1. Alternative splicing results in two dapaf-1 mRNA species, which encode distinct forms of caspase activator, Dapaf-1L (Apaf-1 type) and Dapaf-1S (CED-4 type). Distinct caspases were activated by these Dapaf-1 isoforms. Loss of Dapaf-1 function resulted in defective cytochrome c-dependent caspase activities and reduced apoptosis in embryo and in larval brain. Dapaf-1 activities were also involved in cell death induced by ectopic expression of reaper in the compound eye. These data suggest that Dapaf-1/cytochrome c-dependent cell death-inducing machinery is present in Drosophila, and the requirement of Dapaf-1/Apaf-1 in neural cell death is conserved through evolution.

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