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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Mar;12(3):233-42.

Akt inhibition upregulates FasL, downregulates c-FLIPs and induces caspase-8-dependent cell death in Jurkat T lymphocytes.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Louisville Medical Center, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


In T lymphocytes, the role of Akt in regulating Fas/Fas ligand (FasL)-mediated apoptotic signaling and death is not clearly understood. In this study, we observed that inhibition of Akt causes enhanced expression of FasL mRNA and protein and increased death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation with Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and procaspase-8 recruitment. Also, caspase-8 was activated at the DISC with accompanying decrease in c-FLIPs expression. FasL neutralizing antibody significantly decreased apoptotic death in the Akt-inhibited T cells. Additionally, Akt inhibition-induced Fas signaling was observed to link to the mitochondrial pathway via Bid cleavage. Further, inhibition of caspase-8 activity effectively blocked the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and DNA fragmentation, suggesting that DISC formation and subsequent caspase-8 activation are critical initiating events in Akt inhibition-induced apoptotic death in T lymphocytes. These data demonstrate yet another important survival function governed by Akt kinase in T lymphocytes, which involves the regulation of FasL expression and consequent apoptotic signaling.

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