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Cell Death Differ. 1998 Nov;5(11):963-72.

Rel blocks both anti-Fas- and TNF alpha-induced apoptosis and an intact Rel transactivation domain is essential for this effect.

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Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-5638, USA.


The v-Rel oncoprotein must be continuously expressed to prevent the apoptosis of transformed lymphoid cells, and also inhibits TNF alpha-induced cell death. A tetracycline-regulated cell system was used to characterize the functions necessary for the anti-apoptotic activity of Rel proteins. v-Rel mutants defective for DNA binding or transactivation showed no protective effect. Similarly, whereas the transcription-competent c-Rel and RelA proteins inhibited TNF alpha-induced cytolysis, the transactivation-negative p50/NF-kappa B1 did not. Importantly, this study is the first to show that c-Rel can also confer significant protection from Fas-mediated cell death. Since the TNFR1- and Fas-signaling pathways involve some intermediates that are common and others that are unique to each pathway, these findings indicate that c-Rel may regulate the expression of genes that function to antagonize either or both death-signaling pathways.

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