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Caspases are a family of cysteine proteases implicated in the biochemical and morphological changes that occur during apoptosis (programmed cell death). The loop domain of Bcl-2 is cleaved at Asp34 by caspase-3 (CPP32) in vitro, in cells overexpressing caspase-3, and after induction of apoptosis by Fas ligation and interleukin-3 withdrawal. The(More)
The Bcl-2-related protein, Bcl-XL, has been shown to block apoptosis induced by a variety of stimuli and to be a stronger protector against apoptosis than Bcl-2 under certain circumstances. Using site-specific mutagenesis, we show here that the amino-acid residues critical for protection of cells by Bcl-XL against Sindbis virus-induced apoptosis are(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is attributed to mutations in the SMN1 gene, leading to loss of spinal cord motor neurons. The neurotropic Sindbis virus vector system was used to investigate a role for the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in regulating neuronal apoptosis. Here we show that SMN protects primary neurons and differentiated neuron-like stem(More)
Genetic mutations affecting mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins cause human neurological disorders, but are assumed to be well tolerated in yeast. The conserved mitochondrial fission protein Dnm1/Drp1 is required for normal mitochondrial division, but also promotes cell death in mammals and yeast. Fis1, an outer mitochondrial membrane-anchored(More)
Little is known about virus-host cell interactions that regulate the lytic potential of viruses during productive replication. Sindbis virus (SV), a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus in the alphavirus genus (family Togaviridae), results in lytic infection in most vertebrate cell lines, but persistent productive infection in post-mitotic neurons. The(More)
Oxidative stress has been proposed as a common mediator of apoptotic death. To investigate further the role of oxidants in this process we have studied the effects of antioxidants on Sindbis virus (SV)-induced apoptosis in two cell lines, AT-3 (a prostate carcinoma line) and N18 (a neuroblastoma line). The thiol antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), at(More)
Humoral immunity is important for protection against viral infection and neutralization of extracellular virus, but clearance of virus from infected tissues is thought to be mediated solely by cellular immunity. However, in a SCID mouse model of persistent alphavirus encephalomyelitis, adoptive transfer of hyperimmune serum resulted in clearance of(More)
Cells exposed to extreme physicochemical or mechanical stimuli die in an uncontrollable manner, as a result of their immediate structural breakdown. Such an unavoidable variant of cellular demise is generally referred to as 'accidental cell death' (ACD). In most settings, however, cell death is initiated by a genetically encoded apparatus, correlating with(More)
To determine the mechanism of measles virus-induced cell death, we studied the infection of Vero cells and monocytic cell lines with wild-type (Chicago-1) and vaccine (Edmonston) strains of measles virus. DNA fragmentation indicative of apoptosis was apparent by flow cytometry, agarose gel electrophoresis, and electron microscopy. Within syncytia, DNA(More)