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Apoptosis. 2012 Jun;17(6):627-35. doi: 10.1007/s10495-011-0696-8.

GAS1 induces cell death through an intrinsic apoptotic pathway.

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Departamento de Fisiología, Biofísica y Neurociencias, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional # 2508, Mexico, D.F, Mexico.


Growth Arrest Specific 1 (GAS1) is a protein expressed when cells are arrested and during development. When ectopically expressed, GAS1 induces cell arrest and apoptosis of different cell lines, and we have previously demonstrated that the apoptotic process set off by GAS1 is caused by its capacity inhibiting the GDNF-mediated intracellular survival signaling. In the present work, we have dissected the molecular pathway leading to cell death. We employed the SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line that expresses GAS1 when deprived of serum. We observed, as we have previously described, that the presence of GAS1 reduces RET phosphorylation and inhibits the activation of AKT. We have now determined that the presence of GAS1 also triggers the dephosphorylation of BAD, which, in turn, provokes the release of Cytochrome-c from the mitochondria to the cytosol activating caspase-9, prompting the activity of caspase-3 and resulting in apoptosis of the cells. The apoptotic process is intrinsic, because there is no activation of caspase-8, thus this is consistent with apoptosis induced by the lack of trophic support. Interestingly, in cells where GAS1 has been silenced there is a significant delay in the onset of apoptosis.

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