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J Cell Sci. 2002 Jul 1;115(Pt 13):2757-70.

Apoptotic crosstalk of TNF receptors: TNF-R2-induces depletion of TRAF2 and IAP proteins and accelerates TNF-R1-dependent activation of caspase-8.

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  • 1Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology, University of Stuttgart, Allmandring 31, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.


We have recently shown that stimulation of TNF-R2 selectively enhances apoptosis induction by the death receptor TNF-R1. Here, we demonstrate that stimulation of CD30 or CD40 also leads to selective enhancement of TNF-R1-induced cell death. Enhancement of apoptosis was correlated with the depletion of endogenous TRAF2 within 1 to 6 hours. Selective prestimulation of TNF-R2 for several hours inhibited TNF-R2-induced activation of the anti-apoptotic NF-kappaB pathway up to 90% and dramatically enhanced apoptosis induction by this receptor. When both TNF-receptors were stimulated simultaneously, TNF-R1-induced NF-kappaB activation remained unaffected but TNF-R1-induced apoptosis was still significantly enhanced. Compared with FasL-induced cell death TNF-R1-induced activation of caspase-8 was significantly weaker and delayed. Costimulation or prestimulation of TNF-R2 enhanced caspase-8 processing. Life cell imaging and confocal microscopy revealed that both TNF-R1 and TNF-R2 recruited the anti-apoptotic factor cIAP1 in a TRAF2-dependent manner. Thus, TNF-R2 may compete with TNF-R1 for the recruitment of newly synthesized TRAF2-bound anti-apoptotic factors, thereby promoting the formation of a caspase-8-activating TNF-R1 complex. Hence, TNF-R2 triggering can interfere with TNF-R1-induced apoptosis by inhibition of NF-kappaB-dependent production of anti-apoptotic factors and by blocking the action of anti-apoptotic factors at the post-transcriptional level.

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