The apical caspase dronc governs programmed and unprogrammed cell death in drosophila

Su Kit Chew, Fatih Akdemir, Po Chen, Wan Jin Lu, Kathryn Mills, Tasman Daish, Sharad Kumar, Antony Rodriguez, John M. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Among the seven caspases encoded in the fly genome, only dronc contains a caspase recruitment domain. To assess the function of this gene in development, we produced a null mutation in dronc. Animals lacking zygotic dronc are defective for programmed cell death (PCD) and arrest as early pupae. These mutants present a range of defects, including extensive hyperplasia of hematopoietic tissues, supernumerary neuronal cells, and head involution failure. dronc genetically interacts with the Ced4/Apaf1 counterpart, Dark, and adult structures lacking dronc are disrupted for fine patterning. Furthermore, in diverse models of metabolic injury, dronc- cells are completely insensitive to induction of cell killing. These findings establish dronc as an essential regulator of cell number in development and illustrate broad requirements for this apical caspase in adaptive responses during stress-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-907
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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