Ich-1, an Ice/ced-3-related gene, encodes both positive and negative regulators of programmed cell death

Cell. 1994 Sep 9;78(5):739-50. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(94)90422-7.


We report here the isolation and characterization of Ich-1, a gene related to the C. elegans cell death gene ced-3 and the mammalian homolog of ced-3, interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE). Alternative splicing results in two distinct Ich-1 mRNA species. One mRNA species encodes a protein product of 435 amino acids (ICH-1L) that is homologous to both the P20 and P10 subunits of ICE (27% identity) and the entire CED-3 protein (28% identity). The other mRNA encodes a 312 amino acid truncated version of ICH-1L protein (ICH-1S). Overexpression of IchL induces programmed cell death, suggesting that Ich-1 is also a mammalian programmed cell death gene. More interestingly, overexpression of the Ich-1S suppresses Rat-1 cell death induced by serum deprivation. These observations suggest that Ich-1 plays an important role in both positive and negative regulation of programmed cell death in vertebrate animals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Caspase 1
  • Caspase 2
  • Caspases*
  • Cell Death / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chickens
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Metalloendopeptidases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Caspase 2
  • Caspases
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • ced-3 protein, C elegans
  • Caspase 1
  • Metalloendopeptidases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U13021
  • GENBANK/U13022