Molecular Mechanisms of Programmed Cell Death

pp 195-211

The Mechanism of Apoptosis Regulation by IAP Antagonist Smac/DIABLO

  • Jun Jin
  • , Jianxin Dai
  • , Jian Zhao
  • , Yajun GuoAffiliated withShanghai International Joint Cancer Institute, The Second Military Medical UniversityEppley Cancer Institute Email author 

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Caspases are central components of the machinery responsible for cell apoptosis. The inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) could efficiently block the caspases activation. Recently, a novel cell death regulator Smac/DIABLO (second mitochondria derived activator of caspases/Direct IAP Binding protein with low PI) was identified. Smac/DIABLO performs a critical function in apoptosis by eliminating the inhibition of IAPs. This article will firstly review the role of caspases and IAPs in apoptosis and then focus on the mechanism of apoptosis regulation by IAP antagonist Smac. We will discuss what is currently known about Smac/DIABLO such as the structure and function of Smac/DIABLO in apoptosis; its relation with Bd-2 family proteins as well as its potenial application in cancer therapy.

Key Words

Apoptosis Smac/DIABLO Caspases IAP