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Cell. 1998 Oct 30;95(3):319-29.

Ras promotes cell survival in Drosophila by downregulating hid expression.

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Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Activation of Ras inhibits apoptosis during Drosophila development. Genetic evidence indicates that Ras antiapoptotic activity in the developing eye is regulated by the Drosophila EGF receptor and operates through the Raf/MAPK pathway. Decreased activity of this pathway enhances, and increased activity suppresses, apoptosis induced by ectopic expression of the cell death regulators reaper (rpr) and head involution defective (hid). In addition, ectopic activation of the Ras/MAPK pathway in the developing embryo and in the developing eye suppresses naturally occurring apoptosis and regulates the transcription of the proapoptotic gene hid. Null alleles of hid recapitulate the antiapoptotic activities of Ras/MAPK, providing genetic evidence that downregulation of hid is an important mechanism by which Ras promotes survival.

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