Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Activation of DNA fragmentation factor

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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DNA fragmentation in response to apoptotic signals is achieved, in part, through the activity of apoptotic nucleases, termed DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) or caspase-activated DNase (CAD) (reviewed in Widlak and Garrard, 2005). In non-apoptotic cells, DFF is a nuclear heterodimer consisting of a 45 kD chaperone and inhibitor subunit (DFF45)/inhibitor of CAD (ICAD-L)] and a 40 kD nuclease subunit (DFF40/CAD)( Liu et al. 1997, 1998; Enari et al. 1998). During apoptosis, activated caspase-3 or -7 cleave DFF45/ICAD releasing active DFF40/CAD nuclease. The activity of DFF is tightly controlled at multiple stages. During translation, DFF45/ICAD, Hsp70, and Hsp40 proteins play a role in insuring the appropriate folding of DFF40 during translation(Sakahira and Nagata, 2002). The nuclease activity of DFF40 is enhanced by the chromosomal proteins histone H1, Topoisomerase II and HMGB1/2(Widlak et al., 2000). In addition, the inhibitors (DFF45/35; ICAD-S/L) are produced in stoichiometric excess (Widlak et al., 2003).

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