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The anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) bind and inhibit Beclin-1, an essential mediator of autophagy. Here, we demonstrate that this interaction involves a BH3 domain within Beclin-1 (residues 114-123). The physical interaction between Beclin-1 and Bcl-X(L) is lost when the BH3 domain of Beclin-1 or the BH3 receptor domain of Bcl-X(L) is mutated.(More)
Mammalian cells were observed to die under conditions in which nutrients were depleted and, simultaneously, macroautophagy was inhibited either genetically (by a small interfering RNA targeting Atg5, Atg6/Beclin 1-1, Atg10, or Atg12) or pharmacologically (by 3-methyladenine, hydroxychloroquine, bafilomycin A1, or monensin). Cell death occurred through(More)
In most mammalian species, a key process of placenta development is the fusion of trophoblast cells into a highly specialized, multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast layer, through which most of the maternofetal exchanges take place. Little is known about this process, despite the recent identification of 2 pairs of envelope genes of retroviral origin,(More)
Multiple cellular stressors, including activation of the tumour suppressor p53, can stimulate autophagy. Here we show that deletion, depletion or inhibition of p53 can induce autophagy in human, mouse and nematode cells subjected to knockout, knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of p53. Enhanced autophagy improved the survival of p53-deficient cancer(More)
Systemic anticancer chemotherapy is immunosuppressive and mostly induces nonimmunogenic tumor cell death. Here, we show that even in the absence of any adjuvant, tumor cells dying in response to anthracyclins can elicit an effective antitumor immune response that suppresses the growth of inoculated tumors or leads to the regression of established neoplasia.(More)
Autophagic cell death is morphologically characterized by an accumulation of autophagic vacuoles. Here, we show that inactivation of LAMP2 by RNA interference or by homologous recombination leads to autophagic vacuolization in nutrient-depleted cells. Cells that lack LAMP2 expression showed an enhanced accumulation of vacuoles carrying the marker LC3, yet a(More)
Profilin is a ubiquitous eukaryotic protein that inhibits actin polymerization. We cloned and sequenced the two profilin genes from the acellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum. The genes, proA and proP, each contain two introns. Primer extension experiments showed two possible transcription start sites in the profilin A gene and one start site in the(More)
Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) has important supportive as well as potentially lethal roles in neurons. Under normal physiological conditions, AIF is a vital redox-active mitochondrial enzyme, whereas in pathological situations, it translocates from mitochondria to the nuclei of injured neurons and mediates apoptotic chromatin condensation and cell death.(More)
Human Endogenous Retroviruses are expected to be the remnants of ancestral infections of primates by active retroviruses that have thereafter been transmitted in a Mendelian fashion. Here, we derived in silico the sequence of the putative ancestral "progenitor" element of one of the most recently amplified family - the HERV-K family - and constructed it.(More)
Mammalian genomes contain two main classes of retrotransposons, the well-characterized long and short interspersed nuclear elements, which account for approximately 30% of the genome, and the long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, which resemble the proviral integrated form of retroviruses, except for the absence of an envelope gene in some cases.(More)