Author(s): Dohrman A, Kataoka T, Cuenin S, Russell JQ, Tschopp J,
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Abstract Cellular FLIP long form (c-FLIP(L)) was originally identified as an inhibitor of Fas (CD95/Apo-1). Subsequently, additional functions of c-FLIP(L) were identified through its association with receptor-interacting protein (RIP)1 and TNFR-associated factor 2 to activate NF-kappaB, as well as by its association with and activation of caspase-8. T cells from c-FLIP(L)-transgenic (Tg) mice manifest hyperproliferation upon activation, although it was not clear which of the various functions of c-FLIP(L) was involved. We have further explored the effect of c-FLIP(L) on CD8(+) effector T cell function and its mechanism of action. c-FLIP(L)-Tg CD8(+) T cells have increased proliferation and IL-2 responsiveness to cognate Ags as well as to low-affinity Ag variants, due to increased CD25 expression. They also have a T cytotoxic 2 cytokine phenotype. c-FLIP(L)-Tg CD8(+) T cells manifest greater caspase activity and NF-kappaB activity upon activation. Both augmented proliferation and CD25 expression are blocked by caspase inhibition. c-FLIP(L) itself is a substrate of the caspase activity in effector T cells, being cleaved to a p43(FLIP) form. p43(FLIP) more efficiently recruits RIP1 than full-length c-FLIP(L) to activate NF-kappaB. c-FLIP(L) and RIP1 also coimmunoprecipitate with active caspase-8 in effector CD8(+) T cells. Thus, one mechanism by which c-FLIP(L) influences effector T cell function is through its activation of caspase-8, which in turn cleaves c-FLIP(L) to allow RIP1 recruitment and NF-kappaB activation. This provides a partial explanation of why caspase activity is required to initiate proliferation of resting T cells.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology