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

Molecular cloning and characterization of human caspase-activated DNase.

Caspase-activated DNase (CAD) cleaves chromosomal DNA during apoptosis. Here, we report isolation of two classes of human CAD cDNAs from a human KT-3 leukemic cell cDNA library. One class of cDNA encoded a protein comprising 338 amino acids, which showed a marked similarity to its murine counterpart. In vitro transcription and translation of this cDNA resulted in a functional CAD protein when the protein was synthesized in the presence of its inhibitor (inhibitor of CAD). The other cDNA class contained many deletions, insertions, and point mutations in the sequence corresponding to the coding region, suggesting that it is derived from a pseudogene. The functional CAD gene was localized to human chromosome 1p36.3 by fluorescent in situ hybridization. The CAD mRNA was expressed in a limited number of human tissues, including pancreas, spleen, prostate, and ovary. The expression of the CAD mRNA in human cell lines correlated with their ability to show DNA fragmentation during apoptosis. Overexpression of CAD potentiated DNA fragmentation by apoptotic stimuli in these cell lines, indicating that CAD is responsible for the apoptotic DNA degradation.[1]


  1. Molecular cloning and characterization of human caspase-activated DNase. Mukae, N., Enari, M., Sakahira, H., Fukuda, Y., Inazawa, J., Toh, H., Nagata, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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