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Interaction between the C. elegans cell-death regulators CED-9 and CED-4.


Spector, M S; Desnoyers, S; Hoeppner, D J; Hengartner, M O (1997). Interaction between the C. elegans cell-death regulators CED-9 and CED-4. Nature, 385(6617):653-656.

Abstract

Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is an evolutionarily conserved process used by multicellular organisms to eliminate cells that are not needed or are potentially detrimental to the organism. Members of the Bcl-2 family of mammalian proteins are intimately involved in the regulation of apoptosis, but, their precise mechanism of action remains unresolved. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the Bcl-2 homologue CED-9 prevents cell death by antagonizing the death-promoting activities of CED-3, a member of the Caspase family of death proteases, and of CED-4, a protein with no known mammalian homologue. Here we show that CED-9 interacts physically with CED-4. Mutations that reduce or eliminate CED-9 activity also disrupt its ability to bind CED-4, suggesting that this interaction is important for CED-9 function. Thus, CED-9 might control C. elegans cell death by binding to and regulating CED-4 activity. We propose that mammalian Bcl-2 family members might control apoptosis in a similar way through interaction and regulation of CED-4 homologues or analogues.

Abstract

Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is an evolutionarily conserved process used by multicellular organisms to eliminate cells that are not needed or are potentially detrimental to the organism. Members of the Bcl-2 family of mammalian proteins are intimately involved in the regulation of apoptosis, but, their precise mechanism of action remains unresolved. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the Bcl-2 homologue CED-9 prevents cell death by antagonizing the death-promoting activities of CED-3, a member of the Caspase family of death proteases, and of CED-4, a protein with no known mammalian homologue. Here we show that CED-9 interacts physically with CED-4. Mutations that reduce or eliminate CED-9 activity also disrupt its ability to bind CED-4, suggesting that this interaction is important for CED-9 function. Thus, CED-9 might control C. elegans cell death by binding to and regulating CED-4 activity. We propose that mammalian Bcl-2 family members might control apoptosis in a similar way through interaction and regulation of CED-4 homologues or analogues.

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247 citations in Web of Science®
236 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:13 February 1997
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:16
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/385653a0
PubMed ID:9024666

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