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Cell Death Differ. 2003 Sep;10(9):1016-24.

Functional expression cloning reveals proapoptotic role for protein phosphatase 4.

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School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Keele, T5 5BG, UK.


Functional expression cloning strategies are highly suitable for the analysis of the molecular control of apoptosis. This approach has two critical advantages. Firstly, it eliminates prior assumptions about the properties of the proteins involved, and, secondly, it selectively targets proteins that are causally involved in apoptosis control and which affect the crucial cellular decision between survival and death. The application of this strategy to the isolation of cDNAs conferring resistance to dexamethasone and gamma-irradiation resulted in the isolation of a partial cDNA for the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 4 (PP4). Cells transfected with this partial cDNA in an expression vector downregulated PP4 and were resistant to both dexamethasone and UV radiation, as demonstrated by both membrane integrity and colony-forming assays. These observations suggest that PP4 plays an important proapoptotic role in T lymphocytes.

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