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Annu Rev Immunol. 2007;25:561-86.

The death domain superfamily in intracellular signaling of apoptosis and inflammation.

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Department of Biochemistry, Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The death domain (DD) superfamily comprising the death domain (DD) subfamily, the death effector domain (DED) subfamily, the caspase recruitment domain (CARD) subfamily, and the pyrin domain (PYD) subfamily is one of the largest domain superfamilies. By mediating homotypic interactions within each domain subfamily, these proteins play important roles in the assembly and activation of apoptotic and inflammatory complexes. In this chapter, we review the molecular complexes assembled by these proteins, the structural and biochemical features of these domains, and the molecular interactions mediated by them. By analyzing the potential molecular basis for the function of these domains, we hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of the function, structure, interaction, and evolution of this important family of domains.

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