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Oncogene. 1999 Apr 1;18(13):2189-99.

Differential involvement of the CD95 (Fas/APO-1) receptor/ligand system on apoptosis induced by the wild-type p53 gene transfer in human cancer cells.

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First Department of Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


The CD95 (Fas/APO-1) system regulates a number of physiological and pathological processes of cell death. The ligand for CD95 induces apoptosis in sensitive target cells by interacting with a transmembrane cell surface CD95 receptor. We previously reported that the recombinant adenovirus-mediated transfer of the wild-type p53 gene caused apoptotic cell death in a variety of human cancer cells. To better understand the mechanism responsible for this cell death signaling, we have investigated the potential involvement of the CD95 receptor/ligand system in p53-mediated apoptosis. The transient expression of the wild-type p53 gene upregulated the CD95 ligand mRNA as well as protein expression in H1299 human lung cancer cells deficient for p53 and in DLD-1 and SW620 human colon cancer cells with mutated p53, all of which constitutively expressed CD95 receptor as shown by a flow cytometric analysis, and induced rapid apoptotic cell death as early as 24 h after gene transfer. However, the sensitivity to the cytolytic effect of agonistic anti-CD95 antibody (CH11) varied among these cell lines: CH11 induced apoptosis in H1299 cells, but not in DLD-1 and SW620 cells despite their abundant CD95 receptor expression, suggesting that the CD95 receptors on DLD-1 and SW620 cells might be inactivated. In addition, an antagonistic anti-CD95 ligand antibody (4H9) that interfered with the CD95-receptor-ligand interaction partially reduced the apoptosis induced by the wild-type p53 gene transfer in H1299 cells, whereas apoptosis of DLD-1 and SW620 cells occurred in the presence of 4H9. Taken together, these findings led us to conclude that the CD95 receptor/ligand system is differentially involved in p53-mediated apoptosis, suggesting that the restoration of the wild-type p53 function may mediate apoptosis through CD95 receptor/ligand interactions as well as an alternative pathway.

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