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Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;22(1):207-20.

Molecular ordering of the initial signaling events of CD95.

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The Ben May Institute for Cancer Research. Department of Medicine. Department of Pathology University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Binding of either ligand or agonistic antibodies to the death receptor CD95 (APO-1/Fas) induces the formation of the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). We now show that signal initiation of CD95 in type I cells can be further separated into at least four distinct steps. (i) The first step is ligand-induced formation of CD95 microaggregates at the cell surface. (ii) The second step is recruitment of FADD to form a DISC. This step is dependent on actin filaments. (iii) The third step involves formation of large CD95 surface clusters. This event is positively regulated by DISC-generated caspase 8. (iv) The fourth step is internalization of activated CD95 through an endosomal pathway. The latter step is again dependent on the presence of actin filaments. The data indicate that the signal initiation by CD95 is a complex process actively regulated at various levels, providing a number of new drug targets to specifically modulate CD95 signaling.

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