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Programmed cell death (PCD) is essential for the removal of unwanted cells and is critical for both restricting cell numbers and for tissue patterning during development. Components of the cell death machinery are remarkably conserved through evolution, from worms to mammals. Central to the PCD process is the family of cysteine proteases, known as caspases,(More)
The steroid hormone ecdysone regulates moulting, cell death, and differentiation during insect development. Ecdysone mediates its biological effects by either direct activation of gene transcription after binding to its receptor EcR-Usp or via hierarchical transcriptional regulation of several primary transcription factors. In turn, these transcription(More)
Bcl-2 family of proteins are key regulators of apoptosis. Both proapoptotic and antiapoptotic members of this family are found in mammalian cells, but no such proteins have been described in insects. Here, we report the identification and characterization of Debcl, the first Bcl-2 homologue in Drosophila melanogaster. Structurally, Debcl is similar to(More)
The Apaf-1 protein is essential for cytochrome c-mediated caspase-9 activation in the intrinsic mammalian pathway of apoptosis. Although Apaf-1 is the only known mammalian homologue of the Caenorhabditis elegans CED-4 protein, the deficiency of apaf-1 in cells or in mice results in a limited cell survival phenotype, suggesting that alternative mechanisms of(More)
PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome TEN) is the major negative regulator of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling and has cell-specific functions including tumor suppression. Nuclear localization of PTEN is vital for tumor suppression; however, outside of cancer, the molecular and physiological events driving PTEN nuclear entry(More)
The release of cytochrome c from mitochondria is necessary for the formation of the Apaf-1 apoptosome and subsequent activation of caspase-9 in mammalian cells. However, the role of cytochrome c in caspase activation in Drosophila cells is not well understood. We demonstrate here that cytochrome c remains associated with mitochondria during apoptosis of(More)
The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is essential for sodium homoeostasis in many epithelia. ENaC activity is required for lung fluid clearance in newborn animals and for maintenance of blood volume and blood pressure in adults. In vitro studies show that the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 ubiquitinates ENaC to regulate its cell surface expression. Here we show(More)
The steroid hormone ecdysone regulates both cell differentiation and cell death during insect metamorphosis, by hierarchical transcriptional regulation of a number of genes, including the Broad-Complex (BR-C), the zinc finger family of transcription factors. These genes in turn regulate the transcription of a number of downstream genes. DRONC, a key apical(More)
Most developmentally programmed cell death in metazoans is mediated by caspases. During Drosophila metamorphosis, obsolete tissues, including the midgut and salivary glands, are removed by programmed cell death [1]. The initiator caspase Dronc and its activator Ark are required for the death of salivary glands, but not for midgut removal [2, 3]. In addition(More)