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Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Feb;5(2):118-25.

Fas engagement induces neurite growth through ERK activation and p35 upregulation.

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Department of Physiology, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1Y6.


Fas (also known as CD95), a member of the tumour-necrosis receptor factor family of 'death receptors', can induce apoptosis or, conversely, can deliver growth stimulatory signals. Here we report that crosslinking Fas on primary sensory neurons induces neurite growth through sustained activation of the extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) pathway and the consequent upregulation of p35, a mediator of neurite outgrowth. In addition, functional recovery after sciatic nerve injury is delayed in Fas-deficient lpr mice and accelerated by local administration of antibodies against Fas, which indicates that Fas engagement may contribute to nerve regeneration in vivo. Our findings define a role for Fas as an inducer of both neurite growth in vitro and accelerated recovery after nerve injury in vivo.

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