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Cell Death Differ. 2007 May;14(5):916-23. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Proteomic analysis of steroid-triggered autophagic programmed cell death during Drosophila development.

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Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, College Park, MD 20742-4450, USA.


Two morphological forms of programmed cell death, apoptosis and autophagic cell death, remove unneeded or damaged cells during animal development. Although the mechanisms that regulate apoptosis are well studied, little is known about autophagic cell death. A shotgun proteome analysis of purified dying larval salivary glands in Drosophila was used to identify proteins that are expressed during autophagic programmed cell death. A total of 5661 proteins were identified from stages before and after the onset of cell death. Analyses of these data enabled us to identify proteins from a number of interesting categories including regulators of transcription, the apoptosis, autophagy, lysosomal, and ubiquitin proteasome degradation pathways, and proteins involved in growth control. Several of the identified proteins, including the serine/threonine kinase warts (Wts), were not detected using whole-genome DNA microarrays, providing support for the importance of such high-throughput proteomic technology. Wts regulates cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, and significantly, mutations in wts prevent destruction of salivary glands.

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