Although corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and Fas ligand (FasL) have been documented in ovarian carcinoma, a clear association with tumour progression and immuno-escape has not been established. FasL plays an important role in promoting tumour cells' ability to counterattack immune cells. Here, we examined immunohistochemically the expression of CRH, CRHR1, CRHR2 and FasL in 47 human ovarian cancer cases. The ovarian cancer cell lines OvCa3 and A2780 were further used to test the hypothesis that CRH might contribute to the immune privilege of ovarian tumours, by modulating FasL expression on the cancer cells. We found that CRH, CRHR1, CRHR2 and FasL were expressed in 68.1, 70.2, 63.8 and 63.8% of the cases respectively. Positivity for CRH or FasL expression was associated with higher tumour stage. Finally, CRH increased the expression of FasL in OvCa3 and A2780 cells through CRHR1 thereby potentiated their ability to induce apoptosis of activated peripheral blood lymphocytes. Corticotropin-releasing hormone produced by human ovarian cancer might favour survival and progression of the tumour by promoting its immune privilege. These findings support the hypothesis that CRHR1 antagonists could potentially be used against ovarian cancer.
CRH; Fas ligand; ovarian cancer; immune privilege; apoptosis
Malignant glioma is a lethal form of brain cancer that is very difficult to treat. The aggressive behavior of these neoplasms and their limited responsiveness to therapy has been attributed in part to the ability of these tumors to evade the immune system. Gliomas, like many other solid tumors, express components of numerous immune escape mechanisms, including immunosuppressive proteins such as TGF-β, IL-10, and FasL. Here, we show that FasL expression can support the growth of experimental intracranial glioma. We show that FasL is readily detected in human glioblastoma multiforme clinical specimens. FasL was found to be expressed by three well-characterized rat glioma cell lines (9L, F98, and C6) and glioma cell-derived FasL mediated the death of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated Jurkat T-lymphocytes when cocultured with glioma cells in vitro. We asked if inhibiting 9L-derived FasL altered the growth of experimental glioma. FasL expression knockdown using shRNA reduced the growth of subcutaneous and intracranial 9L gliomas by ∼50% in immune competent Fisher 344 rats. In contrast, FasL expression knockdown had no affect on the growth of intracranial 9L glioma in T-cell deficient athymic rats. Intracranial tumors derived from FasL knockdown 9L glioma cells contained up to 3-fold more tumor infiltrating T-cells than tumors derived from control 9L cells. These results demonstrate that down-regulating FasL expression and/or function in glial malignancies can enhance T-cell tumor infiltration and inhibit tumor growth. The findings suggest that targeting endogenous FasL in glial malignancies could enhance the efficacy of emerging immune-based treatment strategies.
CD95L; Fas ligand; glioma; immunotherapy; immunity
Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system is one of the key apoptotic signaling entities in the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. De-regulation of this pathway, i.e. by mutations may prevent the immune system from the removal of newly-formed tumor cells, and thus lead to tumor formation. The present study investigated the association between −1377 G/A (rs2234767) and −670 A/G (rs1800682) polymorphisms in Fas as well as single nucleotide polymorphisms INV2nt −124 A/G (rs5030772) and −844 C/T (rs763110) in FasL in a sample of Iranian patients with breast cancer. This case-control study was done on 134 breast cancer patients and 152 normal women. Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood samples. The polymorphisms were determined by using tetra-ARMS-PCR method. There was no significant difference in the genotype distribution of FAS rs2234767 polymorphism between cases and controls. FAS rs1800682, FASL rs5030772, and FASL rs763110 genotypes showed significant associations with an increasing risk of breast cancer (odds ratio OR = 3.18, P = 0.019; OR = 5.08, P = 0.012; OR = 2.40, P = 0.024, respectively). In conclusion, FAS rs2234767 was not associated with breast cancer risk. Though, FAS rs1800682, FASL rs5030772, and FASL rs763110 polymorphisms were associated with the risk of breast cancer in the examined population.
Background: The FAS and FASL system plays a key role in regulating apoptotic cell death and corruption of this signalling pathway has been shown to participate in immune escape and tumorigenesis. There is reduced expression of FAS but elevated expression of FASL in many types of human cancers including lung cancer. We recently reported an association between functional polymorphisms in FAS (–1377G→A) and FASL (–844T→C) and risk of oesophageal cancer.
Objective: To examine the contribution of these polymorphisms to risk of developing lung cancer.
Methods: Genotypes of 1000 lung cancer patients and 1270 controls were analysed by PCR based restriction fragment length polymorphism. Associations with risk of lung cancer were estimated by logistic regression.
Results: Compared with non-carriers, there was a 1.6 fold excess risk of developing lung cancer for carriers of the FAS –1377AA genotype (odds ratio (OR) 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21 to 2.10; p = 0.001), and 1.8 fold excess risk (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.52; p = 0.001) for carriers of FASL –844CC. Gene–gene interaction of FAS and FASL polymorphisms increased risk of lung cancer in a multiplicative manner (OR for the carriers of both FAS –1377AA and FASL –844CC genotypes 4.18, 95% CI 2.83 to 6.18). Gene–environment interaction of FAS or FASL polymorphism and smoking associated with increased risk of lung cancer was also found.
Conclusion: These results are consistent with our initial findings in oesophageal cancer and further support the hypothesis that the FAS and FASL triggered apoptosis pathway plays an important role in human carcinogenesis.
Fas ligand (FasL) is a transmembrane protein that regulates cell death in Fas-bearing cells. FasL-mediated cell death is essential for immune system homeostasis and the elimination of viral or transformed cells. Because of its potent cytotoxic activity, FasL expression at the cell surface is tightly regulated, for example, via processing by ADAM10 and SPPL2a generating soluble FasL and the intracellular fragments APL (ADAM10-processed FasL form) and SPA (SPPL2a-processed APL). In this study, we report that FasL processing by ADAM10 counteracts Fas-mediated cell death and is strictly regulated by membrane localization, interactions and modifications of FasL. According to our observations, FasL processing occurs preferentially within cholesterol and sphingolipid-rich nanodomains (rafts) where efficient Fas–FasL contact occurs, Fas receptor and FasL interaction is also required for efficient FasL processing, and FasL palmitoylation, which occurs within its transmembrane domain, is critical for efficient FasL-mediated killing and FasL processing.
Fas ligand; proteolysis; ADAM10 processing; rafts; palmitoylation
The potentially functional polymorphism, rs763110 (−844C>T), in the promoter region of the FAS ligand (FASL) gene, has been implicated in cancer risk, but individually published studies show inconclusive results. To derive a more precise estimation of the association between the FASL rs763110 and risk of cancer, we performed a meta-analysis of 19 published studies that included 11 105 cancer cases and 11 372 controls. We used odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the strength of the associations. Overall, the rs763110 CT and TT variant genotypes were associated with a significantly reduced cancer risk of all cancer types in different genetic models (homozygote comparison: OR=0.80, 95% CI: 0.68–0.95, Pheterogeneity=0.001; heterozygote comparison: OR=0.82, 95% CI: 0.72–0.95, Pheterogeneity<0.001; dominant model comparison: OR=0.82, 95% CI: 0.71–0.94, Pheterogeneity<0.001; and recessive model comparison: OR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.81–0.96, Pheterogeneity=0.074). In the stratified analyses, the risk remained for studies of the smoking-related cancers and Asian populations, or population-based studies in all the genetic models. Although some modest bias could not be eliminated, this meta-analysis suggests that the FASL rs763110 T allele has a possible protective effect on cancer risk.
FAS ligand; polymorphism; cancer susceptibility; meta-analysis
A recent report described the expression of Fas ligand (FasL) by melanoma cells as an important mechanism involved in the immune evasion by tumors [M. Hahne et al., Science (Washington DC), 274: 1363–1366, 1996]. To investigate the expression of FasL by melanomas, we screened a panel of early-passage cell lines by functional assay and reverse transcriptase-PCR. Using conditions designed to replicate those in the original report, we did not find functional FasL on any of the 19 human melanoma lines established at the National Cancer Institute. Furthermore, we additionally evaluated our melanoma lines using reverse transcriptase-PCR and found that 0 of the 26 human melanoma cell lines expressed FasL mRNA. FasL mRNA was abundantly expressed by antimelanoma T-cell lines after activation. These data do not support a role for FasL expression in the escape of melanoma cells from immune destruction.
FAS and its ligand FASL are crucial in apoptotic cell death. Loss of FAS and gain of aberrant FASL expression are common features of malignant transformation. This study was designed to investigate whether the functional polymorphisms of FAS -1377G/A (rs2234767) and FASL -844T/C (rs763110) affect the risk of developing breast cancer. Genotypes were analyzed by a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay in 436 breast cancer patients and 496 healthy controls. In this study, as compared to the wild-type homozygote and heterozygote, the distribution of the FAS -1377GG, GA and AA genotypes among breast cancer patients were significantly different from those among healthy controls (P=0.011), with the AA genotype being more prevalent among patients than the controls (P=0.003). Similarly, the frequencies of the FASL -844TT, TC and CC genotypes also significantly differed among breast cancer patients and healthy controls (P<0.001), with the CC genotype being significantly over-represented in breast cancer patients compared with the controls (P<0.001). In the unconditional logistic regression model following adjustment for age, the subjects carrying the FAS -1377AA genotype had a 1.75-fold increased risk [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.13–2.69] for development of breast cancer compared with patients carrying the GG genotype. Similarly, in the recessive model, the FASL -844CC genotype significantly increased the risk of breast cancer with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.92 (95% CI 1.46–2.54) compared with the TT or TT + TC genotypes. Our results suggest that functional polymorphisms in the death pathway genes FAS and FASL significantly contribute to the occurrence of breast cancer.
breast cancer; FAS; FASL; risk
Apoptosis through Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) is an important regulator of immune system homeostasis but its role in bone homeostasis is elusive. We systematically analyzed: a) the expression of Fas/FasL during osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis in vitro, b) the effect of FasL on apoptosis and osteoblastic/osteoclastic differentiation, and c) osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis in mice deficient in Fas or FasL. The expression of Fas increased with osteoblastic differentiation. Addition of FasL weakly increased the proportion of apoptotic cells in both osteoclastogenic and osteoblastogenic cultures. In a colony forming unit assay, FasL decreased the proportion of osteoblast colonies but did not affect the total number of colonies, indicating specific inhibitory effect of Fas/FasL on osteoblastic differentiation. The effect depended on the activation of caspase 8 and was specific, as addition of FasL to osteoblastogenic cultures significantly decreased gene expression for runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) required for osteoblastic differentiation. Bone marrow from mice without functional Fas or FasL had similar osteoclastogenic potential as bone marrow from wild-type mice, but generated more osteoblast colonies ex vivo. These colonies had increased expression of the osteoblast genes Runx2, osteopontin, alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, and osteoprotegerin. Our results indicate that Fas/FasL system primarily controls osteoblastic differentiation by inhibiting progenitor differentiation and not by inducing apoptosis. During osteoclastogenesis, Fas/FasL system may have a limited effect on osteoclast progenitor apoptosis. The study suggests that Fas/FasL system plays a key role in osteoblastic differentiation and provides novel insight into the interactions between the immune system and bone.
Apoptosis; Cell Differentiation; Monocytes/Macrophages; Stromal Cells; Transgenic/Knockout Mice
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitously occurring pathogen that infects humans early in childhood. The virus persists as a latent infection in dorsal root ganglia, especially of the trigeminal nerve, and frequently becomes reactivated in humans under conditions of stress. Monocytic cells constitute an important component of the innate and adaptive immune responses. We show here for the first time that HSV-1 stimulates human FasL promoter and induces de novo expression of FasL on the surface of human monocytic cells, including monocytes and macrophages. This virus-induced FasL expression causes death of monocytic cells growing in suspension, but not in monolayers (e.g., macrophages). The addition of a broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, as well as anti-FasL antibodies, reduced cell death but increased viral replication in the virus-infected cell cultures. We also show here for the first time that the virus-induced de novo expression of FasL on the cell surface acts as an immune evasion mechanism by causing the death of interacting human CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Our study provides novel insights on FasL expression and cell death in HSV-infected human monocytic cells and their impact on interacting immune cells.
being immunogenic, gastric cancers overcome antitumour immune responses
by mechanisms that have yet to be fully elucidated. Fas ligand (FasL)
is a molecule that induces Fas receptor mediated apoptosis of activated
immunocytes, thereby mediating normal immune downregulatory roles
including immune response termination, tolerance acquisition, and
immune privilege. Colon cancer cell lines have previously been shown to
express FasL and kill lymphoid cells by Fas mediated apoptosis in
vitro. Many diverse tumours have since been found to express FasL
suggesting that a "Fas counterattack" against antitumour immune
effector cells may contribute to tumour immune escape.
Aim—To ascertain if
human gastric tumours express FasL in vivo, as a potential mediator of
immune escape in stomach cancer.
paraffin wax embedded human gastric adenocarcinomas.
was detected in gastric tumours using immunohistochemistry; FasL mRNA
was detected in the tumours using in situ hybridisation. Cell death was
detected in situ in tumour infiltrating lymphocytes using terminal
deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL).
expression of FasL was detected in all 30 resected gastric
adenocarcinomas examined. In the tumours, FasL protein and mRNA were
co-localised to neoplastic gastric epithelial cells, confirming
expression by the tumour cells. FasL expression was independent of
tumour stage, suggesting that it may be expressed throughout gastric
cancer progression. TUNEL staining disclosed a high level of cell death
among lymphocytes infiltrating FasL positive areas of tumour.
gastric adenocarcinomas express the immune downregulatory molecule,
FasL. The results suggest that FasL is a prevalent mediator of immune
privilege in stomach cancer.
Fas ligand; gastric cancer; immune escape; apoptosis; tumour; mRNA
During carcinogenesis, tumors develop multiple mechanisms for evading the immune response, including upregulation of Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L) expression. Expression of FasL may help to maintain tumor cells in a state of immune privilege by inducing apoptosis of anti-tumor immune effector cells. Recently this idea has been challenged by studies reporting that tumor cells of varying origin do not express FasL. In the present study, we aimed to comprehensively characterize FasL expression in tumors of both murine and human origin over a 72 hour time period.
RNA and protein was extracted from six human (SW620, HT29, SW480, KM12SM, HCT116, Jurkat) and three mouse (CMT93, CT26, B16F10) cancer cell lines at regular time intervals over a 72 hour time period. FasL expression was detected at the mRNA level by RT-PCR, using intron spanning primers, and at the protein level by Western Blotting and immunofluorescence, using a polyclonal FasL- specific antibody.
Expression of FasL mRNA and protein was observed in all cell lines analysed. However, expression of FasL mRNA varied dramatically over time, with cells negative for FasL mRNA at many time points. In contrast, 8 of the 9 cell lines constitutively expressed FasL protein. Thus, cells can abundantly express FasL protein at times when FasL mRNA is absent.
These findings demonstrate the importance of complete analysis of FasL expression by tumor cells in order to fully characterize its biological function and may help to resolve the discrepancies present in the literature regarding FasL expression and tumor immune privilege.
Fas/Fas Ligand (FasL) interactions play a significant role in peripheral T lymphocyte homeostasis and in certain pathological states characterized by T cell depletion. In this study, we demonstrate that antigen-presenting cells such as monocyte-derived human macrophages (MDM) but not monocyte-derived dendritic cells express basal levels of FasL. HIV infection of MDM increases FasL protein expression independent of posttranslational mechanisms, thus highlighting the virus-induced transcriptional upregulation of FasL. The in vitro relevance of these observations is confirmed in human lymphoid tissue. FasL protein expression is constitutive and restricted to tissue macrophages and not dendritic cells. Moreover, a significant increase in macrophage-associated FasL is observed in lymphoid tissue from HIV (+) individuals (P < 0.001), which is further supported by increased levels of FasL mRNA using in situ hybridization. The degree of FasL protein expression in vivo correlates with the degree of tissue apoptosis (r = 0.761, P < 0. 001), which is significantly increased in tissue from HIV-infected patients (P < 0.001). These results identify human tissue macrophages as a relevant source for FasL expression in vitro and in vivo and highlight the potential role of FasL expression in the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection.
Fas ligand (FasL) is expressed on some cancers and may play a role in the immune evasion of the tumour. We used immuno-histochemistry to study the expression of Fas and FasL in tissue samples from breast cancer patients, as well as normal breast tissue. Our results show that Fas and FasL are co-expressed both in normal tissue and in breast tumours. Fas and FasL mRNA were expressed in fresh normal and malignant breast tissue, as well as cultured breast epithelium and breast cancer cell lines. Flow cytometry analysis of live cells failed to detect FasL on the surface of normal or malignant breast cells; however, both stained positive for FasL after permeabilization. Fas was detected on the surface of normal breast cells and T47D and MCF-10A cell lines but only intracellularly in other breast cell lines tested. Neither normal breast epithelium nor breast cell lines induced Fas-dependent apoptosis in Jurkat cells. Finally, 20 tumour samples were stained for apoptosis. Few apoptotic cells were detected and there was no increase in apoptotic cells on the borders between tumour cells and lymphocytes. We conclude that FasL is expressed intracellularly in both normal and malignant breast epithelium and unlikely to be important for the immune evasion of breast tumours. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
Fas; apoptosis; breast neoplasm; tumour infiltrating lymphocytes; CD95; FasL
Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L) is a member of the tumour necrosis factor superfamily that triggers apoptosis following crosslinking of the Fas receptor. Despite studies strongly implicating tumour-expressed FasL as a major inhibitor of the anti-tumour immune response, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate FasL expression in tumours. In this study, we show that the cyclooxygenase (COX) signalling pathway, and in particular prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), plays a role in the upregulation of FasL expression in colon cancer. Suppression of either COX-2 or COX-1 by RNA interference in HCA-7 and HT29 colon tumour cells reduced FasL expression at both the mRNA and protein level. Conversely, stimulation with PGE2 increased FasL expression and these cells showed increased cytotoxicity against Fas-sensitive Jurkat T cells. Prostaglandin E2-induced FasL expression was mediated by signalling via the EP1 receptor. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis using serial sections of human colon adenocarcinomas revealed a strong positive correlation between COX-2 and FasL (r=0.722; P<0.0001) expression, and between EP1 receptor and FasL (r=0.740; P<0.0001) expression, in the tumour cells. Thus, these findings indicate that PGE2 positively regulates FasL expression in colon tumour cells, adding another pro-neoplastic activity to PGE2.
Fas ligand; prostaglandin E2; regulation; tumour immune evasion
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is associated with chronic inflammation and ulceration of the skin. Tissue macrophages serve as host cells and immune activation is necessary for parasite clearance. The balance between immune-mediated tissue destruction and successful clearance of infection is delicate and ulceration has been proposed to be a result of infiltration of activated immune cells into the skin. FasL and TRAIL play a dual role in skin homeostasis through induction of apoptosis as well as proinflammatory signaling. During leishmaniasis, dysregulation of both FasL and TRAIL has been described by us and others but the resulting pathogenic effects in the skin during human leishmaniasis are not fully elucidated. Targeting disease specific immune deviations has proven to be a promising new approach for the therapy of autoimmune diseases. Potentially, targeting FasL or TRAIL in combination with microcidals could offer a future treatment strategy to reduce the disfiguring immunopathology associated with CL. In this mini review we will discuss how FasL and TRAIL-induced signaling may influence on the extent of tissue inflammation and the efficacy of parasite clearance in leishmaniasis.
cutaneous leishmaniasis; FasL; TRAIL; ulceration; immunopathology; neutrophils; macrophages; keratinocytes
The critical role played by FasL in immune homeostasis renders this molecule as an attractive target for immunomodulation to achieve tolerance to auto and transplantation antigens. Immunomodulation with genetically modified cells expressing FasL was shown to induce tolerance to alloantigens. However, genetic modification of primary cells in a rapid, efficient, and clinically applicable manner proved challenging. Therefore, we tested the efficacy of donor splenocytes rapidly and efficiently engineered to display on their surface a chimeric form of FasL protein (SA-FasL) for tolerance induction to cardiac allografts. Intraperitoneal injection of ACI rats with WF splenocytes displaying SA-FasL on their surface resulted in tolerance to donor, but not F344 third party, cardiac allografts. Tolerance was associated with apoptosis of donor reactive T effector cells and induction/expansion of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells. Treg cells played a critical role in the observed tolerance as adoptive transfer of sorted Treg cells from long-term graft recipients into naïve unmanipulated ACI rats resulted in indefinite survival of secondary WF grafts. Immunomodulation with allogeneic cells rapidly and efficiently engineered to display on their surface SA-FasL protein provides an effective and clinically applicable means of cell-based therapy with potential application to regenerative medicine, transplantation, and autoimmunity.
T regulatory cells; Allograft tolerance; FasL; Apoptosis
Fas Ligand (FasL) expression by cancer cells may contribute to tumour immune escape via the Fas counterattack against tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Whether this plays a role in colorectal carcinogenesis in Lynch syndrome was examined studying FasL expression, tumour cell apoptosis and number of TILs in colorectal neoplasms from Lynch syndrome patients (50 adenomas, 20 carcinomas) compared with sporadic cases (69 adenomas, 52 carcinomas). FasL expression was observed in 94% of Lynch syndrome adenomas and in all carcinomas. FasL expression patterns and apoptotic indices were similar in Lynch syndrome-associated neoplasms and sporadic cases. The number of TILs was higher in Lynch syndrome neoplasms than in sporadic cases. There were no correlations between FasL expression and tumour cell apoptosis or number of TILs in Lynch syndrome-associated neoplasms. So, FasL expression is an early event in Lynch syndrome and sporadic colorectal carcinogenesis, but not related to TIL number. Taken together, our data do not support a role for the Fas counterattack in colorectal carcinogenesis in Lynch syndrome.
Apoptosis; Colorectal cancer; Counterattack; Fas ligand; HNPCC; Lynch syndrome
The Fas–Fas ligand (FasL) system has been recognized as a major pathway for the induction of apoptosis in cells and tissues. Fas-mediated apoptosis is deeply involved in cancer cell death brought about by the immune system. This study was performed to determine the Fas and FasL expression in human bladder cancer and the impact of schistosomiasis infection.
Material and methods:
Of the 75 patients, 25 with chronic bilharzial cystitis and 50 with bladder cancer were included in this study. Ten control patients were included in the study, following their consent. Fas and FasL expressions in bladder tissue were determined by indirect immunohistochemistry using avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex (ABC) method.
The association of bilharziasis with malignancy raised the incidence of Fas positive immunoreactivity to 100%. The number of malignant cases positive for Fas decreased with progress of tumour grade and stage. All control cases were negative for FasL expression. The percentage of positive FasL malignant cases increased with increasing tumour grade or stage.
Malignant bladder lesions express high levels of Fas and decreased expression of Fas is associated with disease progression. Urinary bladder carcinoma acquires the functional FasL during tumour progression that may induce apoptosis of anti tumour T lymphocytes. Fas and FasL are recommended to be considered important tumour markers to define aggressive bladder cancer and may be included in defining the surveillance protocol for superficial bladder cancer.
apoptosis; Fas; Fas ligand; bladder carcinoma; schistosomiasis
Alterations in the expression of Fas (CD95/APO-1) and its ligand (FasL) have been demonstrated in various types of cancers as a mechanism for tumour cell to escape from the immune system. In the present study, we evaluated the expression of the Fas and FasL genes in a wide range of primary gynaecological carcinomas. These included 31 ovarian, 29 cervical and 25 endometrial carcinoma tissues as well as four ovarian and three cervical carcinoma cell lines. Our real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that down-regulation of Fas expression is more prominent than the up-regulation of FasL expression in all types of gynaecological cancer studied. This down-regulation of Fas expression was also true for the seven carcinoma cell lines. Only one cervical carcinoma cell line, DoT, exhibited a high level of FasL expression. These results indicated that down-regulation of Fas expression is a common abnormality in many types of cancers including gynaecological cancers, whereas an increase in FasL expression is not a common phenomenon in these cancers. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
Fas; FasL; quantitative PCR; primary tumours
Activation induced cell death (AICD) via Fas/FasL is the primary homeostatic molecular mechanism employed by the immune system to control activated T-cell responses and promote tolerance to self-antigens. We herein investigated the ability of a novel multimeric form of FasL chimeric with streptavidin (SA-FasL) having potent apoptotic activity to induce apoptosis in diabetogenic T cells and modulate insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes (IDDM) in an adoptive transfer model. Diabetogenic splenocytes from NOD/Lt females were co-cultured in vitro with SA-FasL, SA control protein, or alone without protein, and adoptively transferred into NOD/Lt-Rag1null recipients for diabetes development. All animals receiving control (Alone: n=16 or SA: n=17) cells developed diabetes on average by 6 weeks, whereas animals receiving SA-FasL-treated (n = 25) cells exhibited significantly delayed progression (p<.001) and decreased incidence (70%). This effect was associated with an increase in CD4+CD25+ T cells and correlated with FoxP3 expression in pancreatic lymph nodes. Extracorporeal treatment of peripheral blood lymphocytes using SA-FasL during disease onset represents a novel approach that may alter the ability of pathogenic T cells to mediate diabetes and have therapeutic utility in clinical management of IDDM.
FasL; diabetes; immunomodulation; treatment; apoptosis
Although anatomical barriers and soluble mediators have been implicated in immune privilege, it appears that the apoptotic cell death of Fas+ cells by tissue-associated CD95 ligand (Fas ligand, FasL) is an important component. One clinical example of the function of an immune privileged site is the success of human corneal transplants, where a very high percentage of transplants accept without tissue matching or immunosuppressive therapy. Since the mouse cornea expresses abundant Fas ligand and immune privilege has been implicated in the success of these transplants, we examined the role of FasL in corneal transplantation. Our results show that human corneas express functional FasL capable of killing Fas+ lymphoid cells in an in vitro culture system. Using a mouse model for corneal allograft transplantation, FasL+ orthografts were accepted at a rate of 45%, whereas FasL- grafts, or normal grafts transplanted to Fas- mice, were rejected 100% of the time. Histological analysis found that FasL+ grafts contained apoptotic mononuclear cells indicating the induction of apoptosis by the graft, while rejecting FasL- corneas contained numerous inflammatory cells without associated apoptosis. Taken together our results demonstrate that FasL expression on the cornea is a major factor in corneal allograft survival and, thus, we provide an explanation for one of the most successful tissue transplants performed in humans.
The Fas ligand (FasL)/Fas pathway is crucial for homeostasis of the immune system and peripheral tolerance. Peripheral lymphocyte deletion involves FasL/Fas in at least two ways: coexpression of both Fas and its ligand on T cells, leading to activation-induced cell death, and expression of FasL by nonlymphoid cells, such as intestinal epithelial cells (IEC), that kill Fas-positive T cells. We demonstrate here that superantigen Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB) induced a dramatic upregulation of FasL, TRAIL, and TNF mRNA expression and function in IEC from BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Using adoptive transfer in which CD4+ T cells from OT-2 T-cell receptor transgenic mice were transferred into recipients, we observed an induction in IEC of FasL, TRAIL, and TNF mRNA after administration of antigen. Specific Egr-binding sites have been identified in the 5′ promoter region of the FasL gene, and Egr-1, Egr-2, and Egr-3 mRNA in IEC from mice treated with SEB and from transgenic OT-2 mice after administration of antigen was upregulated. Overexpression of Egr-2 and Egr-3 induced endogenous ligand upregulation that was inhibited by overexpression of Egr-specific inhibitor Nab1. These results support a role for Egr family members in nonlymphoid expression of FasL, TRAIL, and TNF.
Tumors escape immunological rejection by a diversity of mechanisms. In this report, we demonstrate that the colon cancer cell SW620 expresses functional Fas ligand (FasL), the triggering agent of Fas receptor (FasR)-mediated apoptosis within the immune system. FasL mRNA and cell surface FasL were detected in SW620 cells using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemical staining, respectively. We show that SW620 kills Jurkat T cells in a Fas-mediated manner. FasR-specific antisense oligonucleotide treatment, which transiently inhibited FasR expression, completely protected Jurkat cells from killing by SW620. FasL-specific antisense oligonucleotide treatment of SW620 inhibited its Jurkat-killing activity. FasL has recently been established as a mediator of immune privilege in mouse retina and testis. Our finding that colon cancer cells express functional FasL suggests it may play an analogous role in bestowing immune privilege on human tumors. HT29 and SW620 colon cancer cells were found to express FasR mRNA and cell surface FasR using RT-PCR and immunofluorescence flow cytometry, respectively. However, neither of these cells underwent apoptosis after treatment by the anti-FasR agonistic monoclonal antibody CH11. Our results therefore suggest a Fas counterattack model for immune escape in colon cancer, whereby the cancer cells resist Fas-mediated T cell cytotoxicity but express functional FasL, an apoptotic death signal to which activated T cells are inherently sensitive.
Fas ligand (FasL), an apoptosis-inducing member of the TNF cytokine family and its receptor, Fas, are critical for shutdown of chronic immune responses1-3 and prevention of autoimmunity4,5. Accordingly, mutations in their genes cause severe lymphadenopathy and autoimmune disease in mice6,7 and humans8,9. FasL function is regulated by deposition in the plasma membrane and metalloprotease-mediated shedding10,11. We generated gene-targeted mice that selectively lack either secreted FasL (ΔsFasL) or membrane-bound FasL (ΔmFasL) to resolve which of these forms is required for cell killing and to explore their hypothetical non-apoptotic activities. Mice lacking sFasL (FasLΔs/Δs) appeared normal and their T cells readily killed target cells, whereas T cells lacking mFasL (FasLΔm/Δm) could not kill cells through Fas activation. FasLΔm/Δm mice developed lymphadenopathy and hyper-gammaglobulinaemia, similar to FasLgld/gld mice, which express a mutant form of FasL that cannot bind Fas, but surprisingly, (on a C57BL/6 background) FasLΔm/Δm mice succumbed to SLE-like autoimmune kidney destruction and histiocytic sarcoma, diseases that occur only rarely and considerably later in FasLgld/gld mice. These results demonstrate that mFasL is essential for cytotoxic activity and constitutes the guardian against lymphadenopathy, autoimmunity and cancer whereas excess sFasL appears to promote autoimmunity and tumorigenesis through non-apoptotic activities.
apoptosis; Fas ligand; autoimmunity; cancer; allergy