Human death effector domain-associated factor interacts with the viral apoptosis agonist Apoptin and exerts tumor-preferential cell killing

Cell Death Differ. 2004 May;11(5):564-73. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401391.


Apoptin, a protein from chicken anemia virus without an apparent cellular homologue, can induce apoptosis in mammalian cells. Its cytotoxicity is limited to transformed or tumor cells, making Apoptin a highly interesting candidate for cancer therapy. To elucidate Apoptin's mechanism of action, we have searched for binding partners in the human proteome. Here, we report that Apoptin interacts with DEDAF, a protein previously found to associate with death effector domain (DED)-containing pro-apoptotic proteins, and to be involved in regulation of transcription. Like Apoptin, after transient overexpression, DEDAF induced apoptosis in various human tumor cell lines, but not in primary fibroblasts or mesenchymal cells. DEDAF-induced cell death was inhibited by the caspase inhibitor p35. Together with the reported association of DEDAF with a DED-containing DNA-binding protein in the nucleus and the transcription regulatory activity, our findings may provide a clue for the mechanism of Apoptin's actions in mammalian cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • COS Cells
  • Capsid Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleolus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • RYBP protein, human
  • Repressor Proteins
  • VP3 protein, Chicken anemia virus