A new inhibitor of apoptosis from vaccinia virus and eukaryotes.
Gubser C., Bergamaschi D., Hollinshead M., Lu X., van Kuppeveld FJM., Smith GL.
A new apoptosis inhibitor is described from vaccinia virus, camelpox virus, and eukaryotic cells. The inhibitor is a hydrophobic, multiple transmembrane protein that is resident in the Golgi and is named GAAP (Golgi anti-apoptotic protein). Stable expression of both viral GAAP (v-GAAP) and human GAAP (h-GAAP), which is expressed in all human tissues tested, inhibited apoptosis induced by intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic stimuli. Conversely, knockout of h-GAAP by siRNA induced cell death by apoptosis. v-GAAP and h-GAAP display overlapping functions as shown by the ability of v-GAAP to complement for the loss of h-GAAP. Lastly, deletion of the v-GAAP gene from vaccinia virus did not affect virus replication in cell culture, but affected virus virulence in a murine infection model. This study identifies a new regulator of cell death that is highly conserved in evolution from plants to insects, amphibians, mammals, and poxviruses.