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Gene Review

Ice  -  CG7788 gene product from transcript CG7788-RA

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG7788, Caspase, DRICE, Dmel\CG7788, DrICE, ...
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High impact information on Ice

  • A significant proportion of cellular DRONC and DRICE appears to localize near mitochondria, suggesting that an apoptosome may form in the vicinity of mitochondria in the absence of cytochrome c release [1].
  • drICE is an essential caspase required for apoptotic activity in Drosophila cells [2].
  • Induction of apoptosis by rpr overexpression or by cycloheximide or etoposide treatment of Drosophila cells results in proteolytic processing of drICE [3].
  • We show that overexpression of drICE sensitizes Drosophila cells to apoptotic stimuli and that expression of an N-terminally truncated form of drICE rapidly induces apoptosis in Drosophila cells [3].
  • On the other hand, expression of either full-length drICE (fl-drICE) or truncated drICE (DeltaN-drICE) in the retina showed no obvious eye phenotype [4].

Biological context of Ice

  • These observations demonstrate that Ice plays an important non-redundant role as a cell death effector [5].
  • Animals lacking Ice show a number of defects in cell death, including those that occur during embryonic development, as well as during formation of adult eyes, arista and wings [5].
  • Epistatic analysis suggests that drICE acts genetically downstream of Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (Diap1) [6].
  • Using RNA interference in an ecdysone-responsive Drosophila cell line, we show that drice up-regulation is essential for apoptosis induced by ecdysone [7].
  • We noted a difference in the effects of silencing the executioner caspases DCP-1 and DRICE; knock-down of either or both of these had dramatic effects to sustain cell survival following depletion of DIAP1, but had only minor effects following cellular stress [8].

Anatomical context of Ice

  • Finally, we demonstrate that Ice participates in, but is not absolutely required for, the non-apoptotic process of spermatid differentiation [5].

Associations of Ice with chemical compounds


Physical interactions of Ice


Enzymatic interactions of Ice

  • Although active DCP-1 protein cleaves full-length DCP-1 and full-length drICE in vitro, GMR-DeltaN-dcp-1 did not enhance the eye phenotype of GMR-fl-dcp-1 or GMR-fl-drICE flies [4].

Regulatory relationships of Ice

  • We also show that drice expression is specifically controlled by the ecdysone-regulated transcription factor BR-C [7].
  • We conclude that D-IAP1 is capable of inhibiting the activation of drICE as well as inhibiting apoptosis induced by the active form of drICE [11].

Other interactions of Ice

  • In Drosophila, the APAF-1 homolog ARK is required for the activation of the initiator caspase DRONC, which in turn cleaves the effector caspases DRICE and DCP-1 [8].


  1. The role of cytochrome c in caspase activation in Drosophila melanogaster cells. Dorstyn, L., Read, S., Cakouros, D., Huh, J.R., Hay, B.A., Kumar, S. J. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. drICE is an essential caspase required for apoptotic activity in Drosophila cells. Fraser, A.G., McCarthy, N.J., Evan, G.I. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of a Drosophila melanogaster ICE/CED-3-related protease, drICE. Fraser, A.G., Evan, G.I. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  4. Biochemical and genetic interactions between Drosophila caspases and the proapoptotic genes rpr, hid, and grim. Song, Z., Guan, B., Bergman, A., Nicholson, D.W., Thornberry, N.A., Peterson, E.P., Steller, H. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. The Drosophila caspase Ice is important for many apoptotic cell deaths and for spermatid individualization, a nonapoptotic process. Muro, I., Berry, D.L., Huh, J.R., Chen, C.H., Huang, H., Yoo, S.J., Guo, M., Baehrecke, E.H., Hay, B.A. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. The effector caspases drICE and dcp-1 have partially overlapping functions in the apoptotic pathway in Drosophila. Xu, D., Wang, Y., Willecke, R., Chen, Z., Ding, T., Bergmann, A. Cell Death Differ. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Ecdysone-mediated up-regulation of the effector caspase DRICE is required for hormone-dependent apoptosis in Drosophila cells. Kilpatrick, Z.E., Cakouros, D., Kumar, S. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Cell survival and proliferation in Drosophila S2 cells following apoptotic stress in the absence of the APAF-1 homolog, ARK, or downstream caspases. Kiessling, S., Green, D.R. Apoptosis (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. The Drosophila caspase DRONC cleaves following glutamate or aspartate and is regulated by DIAP1, HID, and GRIM. Hawkins, C.J., Yoo, S.J., Peterson, E.P., Wang, S.L., Vernooy, S.Y., Hay, B.A. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Systematic in vivo RNAi analysis of putative components of the Drosophila cell death machinery. Leulier, F., Ribeiro, P.S., Palmer, E., Tenev, T., Takahashi, K., Robertson, D., Zachariou, A., Pichaud, F., Ueda, R., Meier, P. Cell Death Differ. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. The Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis D-IAP1 suppresses cell death induced by the caspase drICE. Kaiser, W.J., Vucic, D., Miller, L.K. FEBS Lett. (1998) [Pubmed]
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