Editors' ChoiceApoptosis

Regulating Cellular Survival

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Science's STKE  26 Oct 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 256, pp. tw387
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2562004tw387

The protein phosphatase PP2A regulates a number of different transcription factors, some of whose gene targets control cell survival. Kong et al. report that α4, a regulatory subunit of PP2A that can enhance enzymatic activity, is an essential inhibitor of transcriptionally induced cell death, or apoptosis. Multiple cell types derived from mice engineered to lack α4 succumbed to rapid cell death. In the absence of α4, expression of proapoptotic gene targets of the transcription factor p53 increased. The data provide support for the idea that, in animal cells, apoptosis is a default cell fate that must be constantly repressed.

M. Kong, C. J. Fox, J. Mu, L. Solt, A. Xu, R. M. Cinalli, M. J. Birnbaum, T. Lindsten, C. B. Thompson, The PP2A-associated protein α4 is an essential inhibitor of apoptosis. Science 306, 695-698 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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