Mechanisms of steroid-triggered programmed cell death in Drosophila

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2005 Apr;16(2):237-43. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2004.12.007. Epub 2005 Jan 18.


Studies in Drosophila have provided a detailed understanding of how programmed cell death is regulated by steroid hormones during development. This work has defined a two-step hormone-triggered regulatory cascade that results in the coordinate induction of central players in the death pathway, including the reaper and hid death activators, the Apaf-1 ortholog dark, and the dronc apical caspase gene. Recent transcriptional profiling studies have identified many new players in this pathway. In addition, genetic studies are providing new insights into the control of autophagic cell death and revealing how this response is related to, but distinct from, apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Ecdysone / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Larva / physiology
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Salivary Glands / physiology
  • Steroids / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology


  • Steroids
  • Ecdysone