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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)
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)
The possibility that single-cell organisms undergo programmed cell death has been questioned in part because they lack several key components of the mammalian cell death machinery. However, yeast encode a homolog of human Drp1, a mitochondrial fission protein that was shown previously to promote mammalian cell death and the excessive mitochondrial(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)
The caspases are cysteine proteases that have been implicated in the execution of programmed cell death in organisms ranging from nematodes to humans. Many members of the Bcl-2 family, including Bcl-XL, are potent inhibitors of programmed cell death and inhibit activation of caspases in cells. Here, we report a direct interaction between caspases and(More)
The translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria to the nucleus has been implicated in the mechanism of glutamate excitotoxicity in cortical neurons and has been observed in vivo following acute rodent brain injuries. However, the mechanism and time course of AIF redistribution to the nucleus is highly controversial. Because elevated(More)
Mitochondrial fission and fusion are linked to synaptic activity in healthy neurons and are implicated in the regulation of apoptotic cell death in many cell types. We developed fluorescence microscopy and computational strategies to directly measure mitochondrial fission and fusion frequencies and their effects on mitochondrial morphology in cultured(More)
Caspases are cysteine proteases that mediate apoptosis by proteolysis of specific substrates. Although many caspase substrates have been identified, for most substrates the physiologic caspase(s) required for cleavage is unknown. The Bcl-2 protein, which inhibits apoptosis, is cleaved at Asp-34 by caspases during apoptosis and by recombinant caspase-3 in(More)
Bcl-x(L), an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, is postulated to function at multiple stages in the cell death pathway. The possibility that Bcl-x(L) inhibits cell death at a late (postmitochondrial) step in the death pathway is supported by this report of a novel apoptosis inhibitor, Aven, which binds to both Bcl-x(L) and the caspase regulator, Apaf-1.(More)