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Immunity. 2000 Jun;12(6):633-42.

Requirement for Casper (c-FLIP) in regulation of death receptor-induced apoptosis and embryonic development.

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Amgen Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto and Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada.


Casper (c-FLIP) associates with FADD and caspase-8 in signaling complexes downstream of death receptors like Fas. We generated Casper-deficient mice and cells and noted a duality in the physiological functions of this molecule. casper-/- embryos do not survive past day 10.5 of embryogenesis and exhibit impaired heart development. This phenotype is reminiscent of that reported for FADD-/- and caspase-8-/- embryos. However, unlike FADD-/- and caspase-8-/- cells, casper-/- embryonic fibroblasts are highly sensitive to FasL- or TNF-induced apoptosis and show rapid induction of caspase activities. NF-kappaB and JNK/SAPK activation is intact in TNF-stimulated casper-/- cells. These results suggest that Casper has two distinct roles: to cooperate with FADD and caspase-8 during embryonic development and to mediate cytoprotection against death factor-induced apoptosis.

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