Caspase-3 carries out the executioner phase of apoptosis, however under special circumstances, cells can survive its activity. To document systematically where and when cells survive caspase-3 activation in vivo, we designed a system, CasExpress, which drives fluorescent protein expression, transiently or permanently, in cells that survive caspase-3 activation in Drosophila. We discovered widespread survival of caspase-3 activity. Distinct spatial and temporal patterns emerged in different tissues. Some cells activated caspase-3 during their normal development in every cell and in every animal without evidence of apoptosis. In other tissues, such as the brain, expression was sporadic both temporally and spatially and overlapped with periods of apoptosis. In adults, reporter expression was evident in a large fraction of cells in most tissues of every animal; however the precise patterns varied. Inhibition of caspase activity in wing discs reduced wing size demonstrating functional significance. The implications of these patterns are discussed.
- Utpal Banerjee, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2016, Ding et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.