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J Biol Chem. 1997 Aug 29;272(35):22173-81.

Fas- or ceramide-induced apoptosis is mediated by a Rac1-regulated activation of Jun N-terminal kinase/p38 kinases and GADD153.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Heidelberg, INF 150, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


In the present study, we show that Fas receptor ligation or cellular treatment with synthetic C6-ceramide results in activation or phosphorylation, respectively, of the small G-protein Rac1, Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/p38 kinases (p38-K), and the transcription factor GADD153. A signaling cascade from the Fas receptor via ceramide, Ras, Rac1, and JNK/p38-K to GADD153 is demonstrated employing transfection of transdominant inhibitory N17Ras, N17Rac1, c-Jun, or treatment with a specific p38-K inhibitor. The critical function of this signaling cascade is indicated by prevention of Fas- or C6-ceramide-induced apoptosis after inhibition of Ras, Rac1, or JNK/p38-K.

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