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J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 21;275(16):11814-23.

The mitochondrial permeability transition augments Fas-induced apoptosis in mouse hepatocytes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 1 and Fas recruit overlapping signaling pathways. To clarify the differences between tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and Fas pathways in hepatocyte apoptosis, primary mouse hepatocytes were treated with TNFalpha or an agonist anti-Fas antibody after infection with an adenovirus expressing an IkappaB superrepressor (Ad5IkappaB). Treatment with TNFalpha induced apoptosis in Ad5IkappaB-infected mouse hepatocytes, as we previously reported for rat hepatocytes. Ad5IkappaB plus anti-Fas antibody or actinomycin D plus anti-Fas antibody rapidly induced apoptosis, whereas anti-Fas antibody alone produced little cytotoxicity. The proteasome inhibitor (MG-132) and a dominant-negative mutant of nuclear factor-kappaB-inducing kinase also promoted TNFalpha- and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Expression of either crmA or a dominant-negative mutant of the Fas-associated death domain protein prevented TNFalpha- and Fas-mediated apoptosis. In addition, the caspase inhibitors, DEVD-cho and IETD-fmk, inhibited TNFalpha- and Fas-mediated apoptosis. In Ad5IkappaB-infected hepatocytes, caspases-3 and -8 were activated within 2 h after treatment with anti-Fas antibody or within 6 h after TNFalpha treatment. Confocal microscopy demonstrated onset of the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) and mitochondrial depolarization by 2-3 h after anti-Fas antibody treatment and 8-10 h after TNFalpha treatment, followed by cytochrome c release. The combination of the MPT inhibitors, cyclosporin A, and trifluoperazine, protected Ad5IkappaB-infected hepatocytes from TNFalpha-mediated apoptosis. After anti-Fas antibody, cyclosporin A and trifluoperazine decreased cytochrome c release but did not prevent caspase-3 activation and cell-death. In conclusion, nuclear factor-kappaB activation protects mouse hepatocytes against both TNFalpha- and Fas-mediated apoptosis. TNFalpha and Fas recruit similar but nonidentical, pathways signaling apoptosis. The MPT is obligatory for TNFalpha-induced apoptosis. In Fas-mediated apoptosis, the MPT accelerates the apoptogenic events but is not obligatory for them.

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