DFF45 is a subunit of the DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) that is cleaved by caspase-3 during apoptosis. However, the mechanism by which DFF45 regulates apoptotic cell death remains poorly understood. Here we report the identification and characterization of two mammalian genes, CIDE-A and CIDE-B, encoding highly related proteins with homology to the N-terminal region of DFF45, CIDE-A and CIDE-B were found to activate apoptosis in mammalian cells, which was inhibited by DFF45 but not by caspase inhibitors. Expression of CIDE-A induced DNA fragmentation in 293T cells, which was inhibited by DFF45, further suggesting that DFF45 inhibits the apoptotic activities of CIDEs. In addition to mammalian CIDE-A and CIDE-B, we identified DREP-1, a Drosophila melanogaster homolog of DFF45 that could inhibit CIDE-A-mediated apoptosis. Mutant analysis revealed that the C-terminal region of CIDE-A was necessary and sufficient for killing whereas the region with homology to DFF45 located in the N-terminus was required for DFF45 to inhibit CIDE-A-induced apoptosis. CD95/Fas-mediated apoptosis was enhanced by CIDEs but inhibited by DFF45. These studies suggest that DFF45 is evolutionarily conserved and implicate CIDEs as DFF45-inhibitable effectors that promote cell death and DNA fragmentation.
- Cell death
- DNA fragmentation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)