Gene activation is required for developmentally programmed cell death.

We have examined transcriptional and translational activity of intersegmental muscle during development in the hawkmoth M. sexta

L M Schwartz; L Kosz; B K Kay


Scholarcy highlights

  • During both embryonic and post-embryonic development, many cells die by a process that appears to be independent of age-related senescence
  • After a 5.5-hr equilibration period, the intersegmental muscle were isolated and the cellular proteins were fractionated by SDS/ polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
  • Individual animals were injected on day with 20-HE or actinomycin D and reinjected on day withmethionine, and the ISM proteins were fractionated on two-dimensional gels as above
  • Programmed cell death has been observed during the development of virtually all metazoan organisms
  • Several investigators have shown that programmed cell death can be blocked with transcriptional inhibitors, suggesting a role for regulation of gene expression
  • We have shown that ISM degeneration requires activation of genes in a differentiative pathway and we have cloned several of these presumptive cell-death genes
  • This pharmacological block of intersegmental muscle degeneration is accompanied by the absence of specific proteins that normally appear in the condemned intersegmental muscles. Interestingly, a few proteins do appear de novo in the ISMs after actinomycin D treatment, which suggests that there may be translational as well as transcriptional control in this system

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