1. Cell Biology
  2. Developmental Biology
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CasExpress reveals widespread and diverse patterns of cell survival of caspase-3 activation during development in vivo

  1. Austin Xun Ding
  2. Gongping Sun
  3. Yewubdar G Argaw
  4. Jessica O Wong
  5. Sreesankar Easwaran
  6. Denise J Montell  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e10936 doi: 10.7554/eLife.10936

Abstract

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.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Austin Xun Ding

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Gongping Sun

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Yewubdar G Argaw

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Jessica O Wong

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Sreesankar Easwaran

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Denise J Montell

    Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    For correspondence
    denise.montell@lifesci.ucsb.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Utpal Banerjee, University of California, Los Angeles, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: August 27, 2015
  2. Accepted: April 8, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 8, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 12, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 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.

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