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Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002 Oct;93(10):1164-74.

Phosphorylation of Fas-associated death domain contributes to enhancement of etoposide-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

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  • 1Second Department of Pathology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521, Japan.


Fas-associated death domain (FADD) plays an important role as an adapter molecule in Fas (CD95/APO-1)-mediated apoptosis and contributes to anticancer drug-induced cytotoxicity. We treated three human prostate cancer cell lines with etoposide, a toposiomerase II inhibitor with activity against various tumors including prostate cancer. We found that the overexpression of FADD sensitizes etoposide-induced apoptosis through a rapid activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and, subsequently, of caspase 3. In addition, phosphorylation of FADD at serine 194 coincided with this sensitization. Treatment with the caspase 3 inhibitor, N-acetyl-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-aldehyde (DEVD-CHO), or overexpression of either mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MKK) 7 or Bcl-xL canceled FADD-mediated sensitization to etoposide-induced apoptosis. Moreover, treatment with the caspase 8 inhibitor, benzyloxy-carbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (z-IETD-fmk), or overexpression of viral FLICE/caspase-8-inhibitory protein (FLIP) from equine herpesvirus type 2 E8 also had an inhibitory effect, supporting a major involvement of a caspase 8-dependent mitochondrial pathway. Interestingly, FADD was phosphorylated, and etoposide-induced JNK/caspase activation and apoptosis were enhanced in the cells arrested at G2/M transition, but not in those overexpressing mutant FADD, in which 194 serine was replaced by alanine. Our results demonstrate that phosphorylated FADD-dependent activation of the JNK/caspase pathway plays a pivotal role in sensitization to etoposide-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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