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The role of RAIDD in neuronal apoptosis

Final Activity Report Summary - RAIDD IN APOPTOSIS (The role of RAIDD in neuronal apoptosis)

In our work, we have uncovered a novel pathway for the execution of the pathway of neuronal apoptosis. Neuronal cells use this pathway to undergo cell death during development. This pathway may also be aberrantly activated during stress or disease states of the nervous system. We have found that a protein termed RAIDD is important for this type of death. RAIDD appears to interact with a specific protease, caspase 2, in order to mediate death. The point in the pathway where this interaction occurs is quite upstream, before irreversible mitochondrial alteration soccur, and therefore provides a good target for modulation.

We are currently working on the exact molecular and biochemical events involved in the interaction between caspase 2 and RAIDD. We have identified PIDD as another protein that appears to interact with caspase 2 under certain circumstances. We are performing further experiments to identify other potential interactors with this caspase 2 complex. With these studies we hope to understand better the way in which neuronal cells die, and to identify novel targets for modulation of apoptotic pathways, that may impact neurological disease states.