Author(s): Weller M, Malipiero U, RensingEhl A, Barr PJ, Fontana A
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Abstract Human malignant glioma cells are susceptible to apoptosis induced by antibodies to Fas/APO-1, a cytokine receptor protein of the nerve growth factor/tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Here we show that a critical level of cell surface expression of Fas/APO-1 is a prerequisite for induction of glioma cell apoptosis via Fas/APO-1. Although Fas/APO-1 mRNA was expressed in three Fas/APO-1 antibody-resistant glioma cell lines, these cells expressed either little Fas/APO-1 protein (LN-319 and LN-405) or an abnormal Fas/APO-1 protein that was not translocated to the cell membrane and therefore functionally inactive (LN-308). Although all glioma cell lines expressed mRNA for Fas/APO-1-delta TM, a soluble form of Fas/APO-1 lacking the transmembrane domain, none of the cell lines released detectable amounts of soluble Fas/APO-1, a potential endogenous antagonist of Fas/APO-1-mediated glioma cell apoptosis. Stable transfection of three resistant glioma cell lines with a human Fas/APO-1 cDNA expression vector dramatically enhanced cell surface expression of Fas/APO-1 and induced susceptibility to Fas/APO-1 antibody-mediated apoptosis. These data indicate that malignant glioma cells, unlike other tumor cells, uniformly harbor the intracellular cascade required for Fas/APO-1-mediated apoptosis. Low level of Fas/APO-1 expression results from inefficient transcription and translation of the Fas/APO-1 gene or the synthesis of mutant Fas/APO-1 proteins. gamma-Interferon, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin 1 beta augmented Fas/APO-1-mediated apoptosis of Fas/APO-1-transfected glioma cells by acting on the subcellular suicidal cascade triggered by Fas/APO-1 activation. Dexamethasone attenuated Fas/APO-1 antibody-induced apoptosis, not only of constitutively Fas/APO-1-positive glioma cells, but also of Fas/APO-1-transfected glioma cells. The antiapoptotic effect of dexamethasone could be overcome by preexposure of the glioma cells to gamma-interferon or by coexposure to Fas/APO-1 antibodies and cycloheximide. Thus, Fas/APO-1 gene transfer and combined immunotherapy using Fas/APO-1 antibodies and cytokines may overcome Fas/APO-1 antibody resistance of Fas/APO-1-negative human malignant glioma cells, which may represent subpopulations within single gliomas or form a separate subgroup of human malignant gliomas.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology
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