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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Apr 2;99(7):4331-6. Epub 2002 Mar 26.

The procaspase-8 isoform, procaspase-8L, recruited to the BAP31 complex at the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Department of Biochemistry, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y6.


BAP31 is an integral protein of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and a substrate of caspase-8. Here, we describe the procaspase-8 isoform, procaspase-8L, which is ubiquitously expressed and selectively recruited to the BAP31 complex in response to apoptotic signaling by E1A. Procaspase-8L is characterized by the N-terminal extension (Nex) domain, which extends procaspase-8/a at the N terminus and is required for selective association of procaspase-8L with the BAP31 complex. Gene deletion identified BAP31 and related BAP29 as required for processing of procaspase-8L in response to E1A, by a FADD-independent mechanism that was blocked by BCL-2. Further, Bap29,31 deletion, as well as a Nex-domain dominant-negative mutant, curtailed the activation of downstream caspases (IETDase and DEVDase) and cell death in response to E1A. Preferential recruitment of procaspase-8L by the BAP31 complex at the endoplasmic reticulum suggests an additional pathway for regulating initiator caspase-8 during apoptosis.

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