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J Immunol. 1998 Sep 1;161(5):2195-200.

TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis in Fas ligand-resistant melanoma cells and mediates CD4 T cell killing of target cells.

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Department of Oncology and Immunology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


We have previously shown that melanoma cells were resistant to apoptosis induced by TNF family members Fas ligand (FasL), TNF-alpha, and CD40L. FasL also was not involved in CD4 T cell-mediated killing of melanoma cells. In the present study, we have tested melanoma cells for their susceptibility to apoptosis induced by human TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and the ability of a mAb against TRAIL to inhibit apoptosis and CD4 CTL-mediated killing of melanoma and Jurkat target cells. The results show that TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cells from 7 of 10 melanoma cell lines tested as well as in Jurkat T cells. Susceptibility to apoptosis was increased in some of the cell lines by treatment with cyclohexamide or actinomycin D. The melanoma cells were resistant to apoptosis induced by FasL, TNF-alpha, and CD40L. mAb M180 against TRAIL inhibited apoptosis induced by TRAIL. It was also found to inhibit CD4 CTL-mediated killing of Jurkat T cells as well as autologous and allogeneic melanoma cells. The degree of inhibition produced by the mAb varied between different clones of CTL and according to the susceptibility of the target cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These results suggest that TRAIL is an important mediator of cell death induced by CTL and may have an important therapeutic role against human melanoma.

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