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FEBS Lett. 2001 Aug 24;504(1-2):53-8.

Proteasome inhibitors induce Fas-mediated apoptosis by c-Myc accumulation and subsequent induction of FasL message in human glioma cells.

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Molecular Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya, 663-8501, Hyogo, Japan.


Proteasome inhibitors were shown previously to induce mitochondria-independent and caspase-3-dependent apoptosis in human glioma cell lines by unknown mechanisms. Here, we showed that treatment with proteasome inhibitors, lactacystin or acetyl-leucinyl-leucinyl-norleucinal, led to elevation of the steady-state c-Myc protein but not c-myc mRNA, suggesting the accumulation of c-Myc protein by proteasome inhibitors. In addition, the marked association of c-Myc protein with ubiquitin by treatment with proteasome inhibitors indicated the involvement of proteasome in c-Myc proteolysis and the stabilization of c-Myc protein by proteasome inhibitors in vivo. The expression of Fas (also termed CD95 or APO-1) mRNA, if analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay, was found to occur constitutively, and increased slightly by the treatment with proteasome inhibitors. In contrast, the expression of Fas ligand (FasL) mRNA was markedly induced temporarily before the activation of caspase-3 by the treatment. Agonistic anti-Fas antibody (CH11) induced apoptotic cell death, suggesting the presence of a functional Fas receptor. In addition, proteasome inhibitor-induced apoptosis was prevented by the addition of antagonistic anti-FasL antibody (4A5) or z-IETD.fmk, a potent inhibitor of caspase-8, indicating the involvement of the Fas receptor-ligand apoptotic signaling system in proteasome inhibitor-mediated apoptosis. Thus, it is suggested that proteasome inhibitors cause the accumulation of c-Myc protein which induces transiently FasL message to stimulate the Fas receptor-ligand apoptotic signaling pathway.

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