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Oncogene. 2000 Dec 14;19(54):6261-70.

Polyomavirus large T-antigen protects mouse cells from Fas-, TNF-alpha- and taxol-induced apoptosis.

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Centre de recherche CHUM, Hôpital Notre Dame and Institut du cancer de Montréal, 1560 rue Sherbrooke est, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Polyomavirus large T-antigen (PyLT-Ag), a nucleophosphoprotein essential for regulating viral gene expression, modulates the cell cycle by binding to the Rb tumor suppressor gene product. PyLT-Ag/Rb binding is essential for in vitro immortalization. However, the effect of PyLT-Ag on apoptosis has not been extensively studied. We have previously reported that FasR agonist antibodies (FasR(Ab)) treatment of Sertoli cells derived from transgenic mice expressing PyLT-Ag induces the growth arrest of these cells without concomitant apoptosis. Here we show that stable expression of PyLT-Ag in murine Sertoli TM4 and hybridoma NSO cell lines confers protection from FasR(Ab)-induced apoptosis. The protection was maintained up to 48 h when cells were grown continuously in the presence of FasR(Ab). Removal of the death stimulus after 24 h exposure was sufficient to allow full recovery of the PyLT-Ag expressing cells. The protective effect conferred by PyLT-Ag was associated with a delay in the sequential activation of caspase-8 and -3 after FasR(Ab) treatment. PyLT-Ag co-precipitated following immunoprecipitation of caspase-8 or FADD, both components of the DISC. Based on these results we suggest that PyLT-Ag directly impedes the recruitment or activation of caspase-8 by the FasR. PyLT-Ag expression in TM4 cells was also associated with protection from TNF-alpha- and taxol-induced apoptosis. In contrast, PyLT-Ag expression was not sufficient to confer protection from captothecin-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that PyLT-Ag can be a potent inhibitor of Fas(R)(Ab)-, TNF-alpha- and taxol-induced apoptosis.

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