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Cell Death Differ. 1999 Aug;6(8):805-12.

Bacterial death induced by expression of the intracellular portion of human Fas.

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Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology, Division of Basic Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, MD 20892, USA.


In attempting to produce the intracellular portion of human Fas (IC175 - 319) as a GST-fusion protein we found that expression of GST-IC175 - 319, but not GST alone or GST-IC231 - 298 (containing the Fas death domain), rapidly caused the death of host E. coli cells. Expression of GST-IC175 - 319 with a single amino acid substitution (V238N) corresponding to the mouse lprcg mutation, or E245A, which abolishes the ability of Fas to self-associate, did not kill bacteria. Deletional analysis identified a 20-amino acids region (Asp210 - Lys230) as essential for the killing activity, and introduction of a single amino acid substitution (T225P) in this 20 amino acid region markedly decreased the ability of Fas- IC175 - 319 to cause bacterial death. These data indicate that Fas can deliver a death signal in prokaryotic organisms by a means that shares some features with eukaryotic cells, and raise the possibility that certain mechanisms leading to programmed cell death may be conserved from bacteria to mammalian cells.

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