The 14-3-3 proteins are a family of phosphoserine/phosphothreonine-binding molecules that control the function of a wide array of cellular proteins. We suggest that one function of 14-3-3 is to support cell survival. 14-3-3 proteins promote survival in part by antagonizing the activity of associated proapoptotic proteins, including Bad and apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1). Indeed, expression of 14-3-3 inhibitor peptides in cells is sufficient to induce apoptosis. Interestingly, these 14-3-3 antagonist peptides can sensitize cells for effective killing by anticancer agents such as cisplatin. Thus, 14-3-3 may be part of the cellular machinery that maintains cell survival, and targeting 14-3-3-ligand interactions may be a useful strategy to enhance the efficacy of conventional anticancer agents.

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