DNA Damage, Deamidation, and Death

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1346-1347
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079168

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DNA-damaging agents are adept at killing tumor cells by inducing them to undergo programmed cell death even though they are normally resistant to apoptosis. In their Perspective, Li and Thompson discuss new work published elsewhere that provides an explanation for this paradox. DNA damage induces deamidation of a crucial antiapoptotic protein, which overcomes the apoptotic block and allows the tumor cells to die.