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Immunology. 2001 Aug;103(4):426-34.

The regulation of FasL expression during activation-induced cell death (AICD).

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Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA 63110.


Activation-induced cell death (AICD), a Fas ligand (FasL)-dependent pathway, is important for maintaining T-cell homeostasis. Interleukin-2 (IL-2), an enhancer of AICD, can also enhance FasL expression. However, we show that the level of FasL or FLIP protein did not correlate with the susceptibility to AICD. Some T cells expressed high levels of FasL yet failed to undergo AICD, while others expressed little FasL and were sensitive. AICD susceptibility did not correlate with the kinetics of FasL up-regulation or down-regulation. The down-regulation of FasL can be mediated by a metalloprotease. However, we describe an alternative mechanism for the loss of FasL by endocytosis. Endocytosis inhibitors such as cytochalasins, sodium azide, deoxyglucose, or low temperatures prevented the loss of FasL. KB8301, a metalloprotease inhibitor had no effect on the loss of FasL or AICD in the T cells. Enhancing FasL expression was not crucial for AICD and the down-regulation of FasL proceeded via endocytosis.

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