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Shinoda, N., Hanawa, N., Chihara, T., Koto, A., Miura, M. (2019). Dronc-independent basal executioner caspase activity sustains Drosophila imaginal tissue growth.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116(41): 20539--20544.
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Research paper

Caspase is best known as an enzyme involved in programmed cell death, which is conserved among multicellular organisms. In addition to its role in cell death, caspase is emerging as an indispensable enzyme in a wide range of cellular functions, which have recently been termed caspase-dependent nonlethal cellular processes (CDPs). In this study, we examined the involvement of cell death signaling in tissue-size determination using Drosophila wing as a model. We found that the Drosophila executioner caspases Dcp-1 and Decay, but not Drice, promoted wing growth independently of apoptosis. Most of the reports on CDPs argue the importance of the spatiotemporal regulation of the initiator caspase, Dronc; however, this sublethal caspase function was independent of Dronc, suggesting a more diverse array of CDP regulatory mechanisms. Tagging of TurboID, an improved promiscuous biotin ligase that biotinylates neighboring proteins, to the C terminus of caspases revealed the differences among the neighbors of executioner caspases. Furthermore, we found that the cleavage of Acinus, a substrate of the executioner caspase, was important in promoting wing growth. These results demonstrate the importance of executioner caspase-mediated basal proteolytic cleavage of substrates in sustaining tissue growth. Given the existence of caspase-like DEVDase activity in a unicellular alga, our results likely highlight the original function of caspase-not cell death, but basal proteolytic cleavages for cell vigor.

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PMC6789915 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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