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Gene Review

Cdk5alpha  -  Cdk5 activator-like protein

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG5387, Cdk5a, D-p35, Dmel\CG5387, Dp35, ...
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Disease relevance of Cdk5alpha

  • Constitutive over-expression of dCdk5alpha in transgenic flies significantly prolongs their recovery time from 5 min to O(2) deprivation or anoxia in older flies (15 days) but not in young ones (4 days) [1].
  • Baculovirus IAPs and P35, an inhibitor of aspartate-specific cysteine proteases, blocked Doom-induced apoptosis [2].
  • In contrast, expression of P35 does not suppress norpA retinal degeneration, although a small delay in the rate of degeneration is observed in low light-low temperature conditions [3].

High impact information on Cdk5alpha

  • Cell death, but not morphological changes, was blocked by the caspase inhibitor P35 [4].
  • Expression of the antiapoptotic P35 protein suppresses this phenotype in the eye, suggesting that apoptosis is the major cellular defect caused by overexpression of K protein [5].
  • The complex of Ckd5/Cdk5alpha is essential for neurite outgrowth during neuronal differentiation and possibly also for neuronal degeneration [1].
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 activator (Cdk5alpha) is an activator of Cdk5 kinase activity and its expression is restricted to neurons [1].
  • We showed previously that ectopic expression of either rpr or hid triggers rapid PCD in adult photoreceptors, and this is completely suppressed by the coexpression of the baculoviral P35 caspase inhibitor [3].

Anatomical context of Cdk5alpha


  1. A Drosophila CDK5alpha-like molecule and its possible role in response to O(2) deprivation. Ma, E., Haddad, G. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Doom, a product of the Drosophila mod(mdg4) gene, induces apoptosis and binds to baculovirus inhibitor-of-apoptosis proteins. Harvey, A.J., Bidwai, A.P., Miller, L.K. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  3. Limited role of developmental programmed cell death pathways in Drosophila norpA retinal degeneration. Hsu, C.D., Whaley, M.A., Frazer, K., Miller, D.A., Mitchell, K.A., Adams, S.M., O'Tousa, J.E. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Dmp53 protects the Drosophila retina during a developmentally regulated DNA damage response. Jassim, O.W., Fink, J.L., Cagan, R.L. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. The levels of the bancal product, a Drosophila homologue of vertebrate hnRNP K protein, affect cell proliferation and apoptosis in imaginal disc cells. Charroux, B., Angelats, C., Fasano, L., Kerridge, S., Vola, C. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Rpr- and hid-driven cell death in Drosophila photoreceptors. Hsu, C.D., Adams, S.M., O'Tousa, J.E. Vision Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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