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Blood. 2002 Oct 15;100(8):2882-90.

Mechanisms of CD47-induced caspase-independent cell death in normal and leukemic cells: link between phosphatidylserine exposure and cytoskeleton organization.

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Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier Université Montreal, Laboratoire d' Immunorégulation, Université de Montréal, Canada.


Dying cells, apoptotic or necrotic, are swiftly eliminated by professional phagocytes. We previously reported that CD47 engagement by CD47 mAb or thrombospondin induced caspase-independent cell death of chronic lymphocytic leukemic B cells (B-CLL). Here we show that human immature dendritic cells (iDCs) phagocytosed the CD47 mAb-killed leukemic cells in the absence of caspases 3, 7, 8, and 9 activation in the malignant lymphocytes. Yet the dead cells displayed the cytoplasmic features of apoptosis, including cell shrinkage, phosphatidylserine exposure, and decreased mitochondrial transmembrane potential (DeltaPsim). CD47 mAb-induced cell death also occurred in normal resting and activated lymphocytes, with B-CLL cells demonstrating the highest susceptibility. Importantly, iDCs and CD34(+) progenitors were resistant. Structure-function studies in cell lines transfected with various CD47 chimeras demonstrated that killing exclusively required the extracellular and transmembrane domains of the CD47 molecule. Cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of actin polymerization, and antimycin A, an inhibitor of mitochondrial electron transfer, completely suppressed CD47-induced phosphatidylserine exposure. Interestingly, CD47 ligation failed to induce cell death in mononuclear cells isolated from Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) patients, suggesting the involvement of Cdc42/WAS protein (WASP) signaling pathway. We propose that CD47-induced caspase-independent cell death be mediated by cytoskeleton reorganization. This form of cell death may be relevant to maintenance of homeostasis and as such might be explored for the development of future therapeutic approaches in lymphoid malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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