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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

c-Jun-dependent CD95-L expression is a rate-limiting step in the induction of apoptosis by alkylating agents.

Mouse 3T3 fibroblasts derived from fetuses lacking c-Jun were used to define an essential role of c-Jun, a main component of the transcription factor AP-1, in the cellular response to the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). MMS represents the most potent and selective activator of the stress-induced kinases JNK/ SAPK and p38, resulting in very efficient induction of c-Jun hyperphosphorylation and c-jun transcription. This agent induced apoptosis with high efficiency in wild-type cells but not in c-jun(-/-) cells. Resistance to apoptosis was accompanied by impaired expression of CD95 ligand ( CD95-L), a well-known inducer of apoptosis. The addition of recombinant CD95-L restored apoptosis sensitivity in c-jun(-/-) fibroblasts. MMS-induced apoptosis in wild-type fibroblasts or human lymphocytes was strongly reduced by neutralizing CD95-L antibodies or transdominant negative FADD, confirming the importance of CD95 signalling in MMS-induced apoptosis. The loss-of-function approach in fibroblasts allowed the identification and dissection of c-Jun-dependent and -independent processes upstream or downstream of CD95 activation. We have found that c-Jun can act as a proapoptotic regulator in cells exposed to DNA damage via induction of CD95-L. Once activated, CD95-induced death signalling is not affected by the loss of c-Jun, demonstrating that only the initiation and not the execution of stress-induced apoptosis depends on c-Jun.[1]


  1. c-Jun-dependent CD95-L expression is a rate-limiting step in the induction of apoptosis by alkylating agents. Kolbus, A., Herr, I., Schreiber, M., Debatin, K.M., Wagner, E.F., Angel, P. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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