Recently a Drosophila p53 protein has been identified that mediates apoptosis via a novel pathway involving the activation of the Reaper gene and subsequent inhibition of the inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs). The present study found that CIAP1, a major mammalian homolog of Drosophila IAPs, is irreversibly inhibited (cleaved) during p53-dependent apoptosis and this cleavage is mediated by a serine protease. Serine protease inhibitors that block CIAP1 cleavage inhibit p53-dependent apoptosis. Furthermore, activation of the p53 protein increases the transcription of the HTRA2 gene, which encodes a serine protease that interacts with CIAP1 and potentiates apoptosis. These results demonstrate that the mammalian p53 protein may activate apoptosis through a novel pathway functionally similar to that in Drosophila, which involves HTRA2 and subsequent inhibition of CIAP1 by cleavage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP)
- P53-dependent apoptosis
- Serine protease HTRA2