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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Apaf-1 is a mediator of E2F-1-induced apoptosis.

E2F-1 is capable of promoting both cell cycle progression and apoptosis. The latter is important for suppressing untoward expansion of proliferating cells. In this study, we investigated its underlying mechanisms. E2F-1-induced apoptosis was accompanied by caspase-9 activation and inhibited by a specific inhibitor of caspase-9 in K562 sublines overexpressing E2F-1. E2F-1 enhanced the expression of Apaf-1 without the cytosolic accumulation of cytochrome c. Apaf-1-deficient melanoma cell lines were resistant to E2F-1, indicating that Apaf-1 is an essential element of E2F-1-mediated apoptosis. Finally, we isolated the promoter region of the Apaf-1 gene and found a putative binding site for E2F. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that E2F-1 bound to Apaf-1 promoter upon E2F-1 overexpression, suggesting that Apaf-1 is under transcriptional regulation of E2F-1. These data demonstrate a novel mechanism of apoptosis in which an increase in Apaf-1 levels results in direct activation of caspase-9 without mitochondrial damage, leading to the initiation of a caspase cascade.[1]


  1. Apaf-1 is a mediator of E2F-1-induced apoptosis. Furukawa, Y., Nishimura, N., Furukawa, Y., Satoh, M., Endo, H., Iwase, S., Yamada, H., Matsuda, M., Kano, Y., Nakamura, M. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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