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Immunity. 1998 Apr;8(4):461-71.

Toso, a cell surface, specific regulator of Fas-induced apoptosis in T cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.


Fas is a surface receptor that can transmit signals for apoptosis. Using retroviral cDNA library-based functional cloning we identified a gene, toso, that blocks Fas-mediated apoptosis. Toso expression was confined to lymphoid cells and was enhanced after cell-specific activation processes in T cells. Toso appeared limited to inhibition of apoptosis mediated by members of the TNF receptor family and was capable of inhibiting T cell self-killing induced by TCR activation processes that up-regulate Fas ligand. We mapped the effect of Toso to inhibition of caspase-8 processing, the most upstream caspase activity in Fas-mediated signaling, potentially through activation of cFLIP. Toso therefore serves as a novel regulator of Fas-mediated apoptosis and may act as a regulator of cell fate in T cells and other hematopoietic lineages.

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