Apoptosis is mediated by death domain containing adapter molecules and a caspase family of proteases. Certain serine/threonine protein kinases, such as RIP and DAP kinase, are mediators of apoptosis. DAP kinase (DAPK) is pro-apoptotic calcium-regulated serine/threonine kinase containing death domain. Ectopic expression of DAPK induces cell death and suppresses oncogenic transformation. DAPK mediates IFNg induced apoptosis. A novel DAP kinase-related protein was recently identified and designated DAPK2 and DRP-1 (1, 2). Ectopicly expressed DAPK2 induced apoptosis in various types ofcells (1,2). DAPK has high sequence homology to ZIP kinase and DRAK1/2, and they represent a novel family ofserine/threonine kinases, which mediates apoptosis through their catalytic activities. The messenger RNA of DAPK2 is expressed in multiple human tissues (1).
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