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

The role of c-FLIP in modulation of CD95-induced apoptosis.

Upon stimulation, CD95 (APO-1/Fas) recruits the adapter molecule Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD)/MORT1 and caspase-8 (FADD-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme (FLICE)/MACH/MCH5) into the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). Recently, a molecule with sequence homology to caspase-8 was identified, termed cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). c-FLIP has been controversially reported to possess apoptosis-promoting and -inhibiting functions. Using c-FLIP-specific monoclonal antibodies, we now show that c-FLIP is expressed in two isoforms, both of which, like FADD and caspase-8, are recruited to the CD95 DISC in a stimulation-dependent fashion. In stably transfected BJAB cells, c-FLIP blocks caspase-8 activation at the DISC and thereby inhibits CD95-mediated apoptosis. During this process, both caspase-8 and c-FLIP undergo cleavage between the p18 and p10 subunits, generating two stable intermediates of 43 kDa that stay bound to the DISC. c-FLIP has been suggested to play a role in protecting activated peripheral T cells from CD95-mediated apoptosis (Irmler, M., Thome, M., Hahne, M., Schneider, P., Hofmann, K., Steiner, V., Bodmer, J. L. , Schroter, M., Burns, K., Mattmann, C., Rimoldi, D., French, L. E., and Tschopp, J. (1997) Nature 388, 190-195). In contrast to this hypothesis, neither caspase-8 nor c-FLIP were cleaved in these cells, ruling out c-FLIP as the main factor regulating DISC activity. Moreover, recruitment of FADD, caspase-8, and c-FLIP to the DISC was strongly reduced in the apoptosis-resistant but readily detectable in the apoptosis-sensitive T cells.[1]


  1. The role of c-FLIP in modulation of CD95-induced apoptosis. Scaffidi, C., Schmitz, I., Krammer, P.H., Peter, M.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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