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Induction of apoptosis in fibroblasts by IL-1 beta-converting enzyme, a mammalian homolog of the C. elegans cell death gene ced-3.

The mammalian interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE) has sequence similarity to the C. elegans cell death gene ced-3. We show here that overexpression of the murine ICE (mICE) gene or of the C. elegans ced-3 gene causes Rat-1 cells to undergo programmed cell death. Point mutations in a region homologous between mICE and CED-3 eliminate the ability of mICE and ced-3 to cause cell death. The cell death caused by mICE can be suppressed by overexpression of the crmA gene, a specific inhibitor of ICE, as well as by bcl-2, a mammalian oncogene that can act to prevent programmed cell death. Our results suggest that ICE may function during mammalian development to cause programmed cell death.

Pubmed ID: 8242741


  • Miura M
  • Zhu H
  • Rotello R
  • Hartwieg EA
  • Yuan J



Publication Data

November 19, 1993

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Base Sequence
  • Caspase 1
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Serpins
  • Viral Proteins