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J Immunol. 2008 Nov 1;181(9):6158-69.

Cross-linking of B7-H1 on EBV-transformed B cells induces apoptosis through reactive oxygen species production, JNK signaling activation, and fasL expression.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Research Center for Tumor Immunology, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Republic of Korea.


B7-H1 is a newly identified member of the B7 family with important regulatory functions in cell-mediated immune responses, and it is expressed in human immune cells and several tumors. We first observed that expression of surface B7-H1 on B cells was increased during the immortalization process by EBV, which is strongly related to both inflammation and tumorigenesis. Cross-linking of B7-H1 on EBV-transformed B cells using anti-B7-H1 Ab (clone 130002) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial disruption, release of apoptotic proteins from mitochondria, and subsequent apoptosis. Inhibition of caspases and ROS generation recovered B7-H1-mediated apoptosis and proteolytic activities of caspase-8, -9, and -3. We observed that B7-H1 stimulation induced both transcription and translation of fasL. ZB4, an antagonistic anti-fas Ab, and NOK-1, an antagonistic anti-fasL Ab, effectively blocked apoptosis without exerting any influence on ROS generation. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) completely blocked the induction of fasL mRNA and protein. We found that B7-H1 stimulation activated the phosphorylation of JNK and c-jun and down-regulated ERK1/2 and p-Akt. NAC blocked the activation of JNK and down-regulation of ERK, but both z-VAD-fmk (N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone) and ZB4 did not inhibit JNK activation of B7-H1 stimulation. SP600125 blocked fasL induction and apoptosis but did not affect ROS generation after B7-H1 stimulation. Taken together, we concluded that B7-H1-mediated apoptosis on EBV-transformed B cells may be involved in the induction of fasL, which is evoked by ROS generation and JNK activation after cross-linking of B7-H1. These results provide a new concept for understanding reverse signaling through B7-H1 and another mechanism of tumor immunotherapy using anti-B7-H1.

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