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EMBO J 1997 Dec 15;1624:7372-81. doi: 10.1093/emboj/16.24.7372.
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Reaper-induced apoptosis in a vertebrate system.

Evans EK , Kuwana T , Strum SL , Smith JJ , Newmeyer DD , Kornbluth S .

The reaper protein of Drosophila melanogaster has been shown to be a central regulator of apoptosis in that organism. However, it has not been shown to function in any vertebrate nor have the cellular components required for its action been defined. In this report we show that reaper can induce rapid apoptosis in vitro using an apoptotic reconstitution system derived from Xenopus eggs. Moreover, we show that a subcellular fraction enriched in mitochondria is required for this process and that reaper, acting in conjunction with cytosolic factors, can trigger mitochondrial cytochrome c release. Bcl-2 antagonizes these effects, but high levels of reaper can overcome the Bcl-2 block. These results demonstrate that reaper can function in a vertebrate context, suggesting that reaper-responsive factors are conserved elements of the apoptotic program.

PubMed ID: 9405366
PMC ID: PMC1170337
Article link: EMBO J
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: bcl2

References [+] :
Bellamy, Cell death in health and disease: the biology and regulation of apoptosis. 1995, Pubmed