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Eur J Immunol. 1996 May;26(5):989-94.

JNK, but not MAPK, activation is associated with Fas-mediated apoptosis in human T cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405, USA.


Fas is a cell surface molecule that is expressed on a wide array of cell types and triggers apoptosis. While in most situations Fas ligation activates programmed cell death, on resting T lymphocytes it can co-stimulate proliferation with the T cell receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex. This incongruity suggests that Fas may elicit signaling events that overlap with those used by proliferation cues. We observe that in the human T cell line Jurkat and in human peripheral blood lymphocytes, Fas stimulation does not signal by the Ras/Raf-1/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway or by increased intracellular calcium. Rather, Fas ligation strongly activates Jun kinase (JNK). This activity, as well as Fas-induced apoptosis, is blocked by increased levels of cAMP. The balance between proliferation and apoptosis by Fas triggering of T lymphocytes may therefore reflect a signaling ratio between TCR activation of the Ras/Raf-1/MAPK pathway versus JNK activation by Fas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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