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Int J Oncol. 2002 Aug;21(2):261-4.

Tissue-specific regulation of Fas/APO-1/CD95 expression by p53.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6H 3Z6, Canada.


The regulation of Fas/APO-1(CD95), an important member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily involved in membrane-mediated apoptosis, has been a subject of recent research. Ligation of Fas by Fas ligand or an anti-Fas cross-linking antibody triggers receptor trimerization followed by recruitment of FADD to the cytoplasmic domain of the receptor and the activation of the caspase cascade. The tumor suppressor p53 has been shown to upregulate Fas expression under numerous pro-apoptotic stimuli in vitro. Using the p53 knockout mouse model, we demonstrate by Western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and semi-quantitative RT-PCR that Fas expression is reduced in spleen and liver from p53-/- mice compared to p53+/+ controls, while similar expression levels were observed in brain, heart, kidney, lung, skin, testis, and thymus between the two groups. While Fas protein was abundant in brain, heart, liver, and spleen, low levels of endogenous expression was observed in other tissues from the p53+/+ and p53-/- mice. These data indicate that p53 regulates Fas expression in a tissue-specific manner.

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