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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Oct 14;94(21):11333-8.

MRIT, a novel death-effector domain-containing protein, interacts with caspases and BclXL and initiates cell death.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Activation of the cascade of proteolytic caspases has been identified as the final common pathway of apoptosis in diverse biological systems. We have isolated a gene, termed MRIT, that possesses overall sequence homology to FLICE (MACH), a large prodomain caspase that links the aggregated complex of the death domain receptors of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family to downstream caspases. However, unlike FLICE, the C-terminal domain of MRIT lacks the caspase catalytic consensus sequence QAC(R/Q)G. Nonetheless MRIT activates caspase-dependent death. Using yeast two-hybrid assays, we demonstrate that MRIT associates with caspases possessing large and small prodomains (FLICE, and CPP32/YAMA), as well as with the adaptor molecule FADD. In addition, MRIT simultaneously and independently interacts with BclXL and FLICE in mammalian cells. Thus, MRIT is a mammalian protein that interacts simultaneously with both caspases and a Bcl-2 family member.

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