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FASEB J. 2003 Apr;17(6):731-3. Epub 2003 Feb 5.

Hyperosmolarity and CD95L trigger CD95/EGF receptor association and tyrosine phosphorylation of CD95 as prerequisites for CD95 membrane trafficking and DISC formation.

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Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany.


The mechanisms underlying CD95 ligand (CD95L)- and hyperosmolarity-induced activation of the CD95 system [Reinehr, R., Graf, D., Fischer, R., Schliess, F., and Haussinger, D. (2002) Hepatology 36, 602-614] as initial steps of apoptosis were studied. Hyperosmotic exposure (405 mosmol/l) of rat hepatocytes induced within 1 min oxidative stress and antioxidant-sensitive activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and c-Jun-N-terminal-kinase (JNK). After 30 min of hyperosmotic exposure EGFR associated with CD95 and CD95 became tyrosine phosphorylated. Inhibition of JNK or protein kinase C (PKC) had no effect on EGFR phosphorylation but abolished CD95/EGFR association, CD95-tyrosine phosphorylation, membrane targeting, and Fas-associated death domain/caspase 8 recruitment to CD95 [death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation]. Inhibition of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity prevented CD95 tyrosine phosphorylation and DISC formation but not hyperosmolarity-induced EGFR phosphorylation and EGFR association with CD95. Tyrosine-phosphorylated CD95 was enriched in the plasma membrane. All maneuvers preventing CD95 tyrosine phosphorylation inhibited CD95 membrane trafficking and DISC formation. Stimulation of EGFR by EGF induced EGFR phosphorylation but no association with CD95 or CD95 phosphorylation. Addition of CD95L also induced EGFR and JNK activation, EGFR/CD95 association, CD95 tyrosine phosphorylation, DISC formation, and CD95 membrane targeting with an inhibitor sensitivity profile similar to that of hyperosmotic CD95 activation, except that inhibition of PKC was ineffective. The data suggest that moderate hyperosmolarity or CD95L trigger oxidative stress and EGFR activation followed by a JNK-dependent EGFR/CD95association and CD95 tyrosine phosphorylation, probably through EGFR tyrosine kinase activity. This provides a signal for CD95 membrane trafficking and DISC formation.

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