Prevention of apoptosis by a baculovirus gene during infection of insect cells

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Science  29 Nov 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5036, pp. 1388-1390
DOI: 10.1126/science.1962198


Programmed cell death is an active process of self destruction that is important in both the development and maintenance of multicellular animals. The molecular mechanisms controlling activation or suppression of programmed cell death are largely unknown. Apoptosis, a morphologically and biochemically defined type of programmed cell death commonly seen in vertebrates, was found to be initiated during baculovirus replication in insect cells. A specific viral gene product, p35, was identified as being responsible for blocking the apoptotic response. Identification of the function of this gene will allow further definition of the molecular pathways involved in the regulation of programmed cell death and may identify the role of apoptosis in invertebrate viral defense systems.

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