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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 14;104(33):13367-72. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Local initiation of caspase activation in Drosophila salivary gland programmed cell death in vivo.

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1
Department of Genetics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

Abstract

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is an essential event in animal development. Spatiotemporal analysis of caspase activation in vivo could provide new insights into programmed cell death occurring during development. Here, using the FRET-based caspase-3 indicator, SCAT3, we report the results of live-imaging analysis of caspase activation in developing Drosophila in vivo. In Drosophila, the salivary gland is sculpted by caspase-mediated programmed cell death initiated by the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (ecdysone). Using a SCAT3 probe, we observed that caspase activation in the salivary glands begins in the anterior cells and is then propagated to the posterior cells in vivo. In vitro salivary gland culture experiments indicated that local exposure of ecdysone to the anterior salivary gland reproduces the caspase activation gradient as observed in vivo. In betaFTZ-F1 mutants, caspase activation was delayed and occurred in a random pattern in vivo. In contrast to the in vivo response, the salivary glands from betaFTZ-F1 mutants showed a normal in vitro response to ecdysone, suggesting that betaFTZ-F1 may be involved in ecdysteroid biosynthesis and secretion of ecdysone from the ring gland for local initiation of programmed cell death. These results imply a role of betaFTZ-F1 in coordinating the initiation of salivary gland apoptosis in development.

PMID:
17679695
PMCID:
PMC1948907
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0702733104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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