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Neuroreport. 1998 Jan 5;9(1):15-9.

Bax and Bak proteins require caspase activity to trigger apoptosis in sympathetic neurons.

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Geneva Biomedical Research Institute, Plan-Les-Ouates, Glaxo-Wellcome, Switzerland.


We show that the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak trigger apoptosis when over-expressed in sympathetic neurons cultured in the presence of NGF. This effect can be blocked with z-VAD-fmk, a peptide inhibitor of caspases, but not with anti-apoptotic chemical compounds such as antioxidants or proteasome inhibitors. These results demonstrate that in sympathetic neurons Bax and Bak are sufficient to induce apoptosis in the absence of any other apparent cell death stimulus and that their effect is mediated by caspases but does not require reactive oxygen species nor activity of the proteasome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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