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Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Jan;3(1):1-7.

DAP kinase activates a p19ARF/p53-mediated apoptotic checkpoint to suppress oncogenic transformation.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


DAP kinase is a pro-apoptotic calcium-regulated serine/threonine kinase, whose expression is frequently lost in human tumours. Here we show that DAP kinase counteracts oncogene-induced transformation by activating a p19ARF/p53-dependent apoptotic checkpoint. Ectopic expression of DAP kinase suppressed oncogenic transformation of primary embryonic fibroblasts by activating p53 in a p19ARF-dependent manner. Consequently, the fibroblasts underwent apoptosis, characterized by caspase activation and DNA fragmentation. In response to c-Myc or E2F-1, the endogenous DAP kinase protein was upregulated. Furthermore, functional or genetic inactivation of the endogenous DAP kinase reduced the extent of induction of p19ARF/p53 and weakened the subsequent apoptotic responses to c-Myc or E2F-1. These results establish a role for DAP kinase in an early apoptotic checkpoint designed to eliminate pre-malignant cells during cancer development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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