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J Biol Chem. 1999 Mar 12;274(11):7245-52.

Cycloheximide-induced T-cell death is mediated by a Fas-associated death domain-dependent mechanism.

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Department of Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38101, USA.


Cycloheximide (CHX) can contribute to apoptotic processes, either in conjunction with another agent (e.g. tumor necrosis factor-alpha) or on its own. However, the basis of this CHX-induced apoptosis has not been clearly established. In this study, the molecular mechanisms of CHX-induced cell death were examined in two different human T-cell lines. In T-cells undergoing CHX-induced apoptosis (Jurkat), but not in T-cells resistant to the effects of CHX (CEM C7), caspase-8 and caspase-3 were activated. However, the Fas ligand was not expressed in Jurkat cells either before or after treatment with CHX, suggesting that the activation of these caspases does not involve the Fas receptor. To determine whether CHX-induced apoptosis was mediated by a Fas-associated death domain (FADD)-dependent mechanism, a FADD-DN protein was expressed in cells prior to CHX treatment. Its expression effectively inhibited CHX-induced cell death, suggesting that CHX-mediated apoptosis primarily involves a FADD-dependent mechanism. Since CHX treatment did not result in the induction of Fas or FasL, and neutralizing anti-Fas and anti-tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 antibodies did not block CHX-mediated apoptosis, these results may also indicate that FADD functions in a receptor-independent manner. Surprisingly, death effector filaments containing FADD and caspase-8 were observed during CHX treatment of Jurkat, Jurkat-FADD-DN, and CEM C7 cells, suggesting that their formation may be necessary, but not sufficient, for cell death.

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