Low FAS/CD95 expression by CTCL correlates with reduced sensitivity to apoptosis that can be restored by FAS upregulation

Jianqiang Wu, Minakshi Nihal, Jawed Siddiqui, Eric C. Vonderheid, Gary S. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


FAS expression was generally low in 30 of 31 cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) cases (mycosis fungoides/Sezary syndrome, SS) as well as in 5 of 6 large plaque parapsoriasis cases (a CTCL precursor). To investigate this phenomenon, we explored FAS transcript levels, cell-surface FAS protein expression and susceptibility to FAS-mediated apoptosis in four CTCL lines (MyLa, HH, SZ4, and SeAx), freshly isolated leukemic cells from a patient with SS, an acute lymphoblastic leukemia T-cell line (Jurkat), and JFL (a FAS-low variant of Jurkat). Results confirmed low FAS expression by the leukemic SS cells, HH, SZ4, SeAx, and JFL relative to normal peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes and the other cell lines. There was a direct correlation among FAS transcript level, FAS protein level, and FAS-mediated apoptotic sensitivity in the CTCL samples. When the FAS-deficient cell lines were transfected with a wild-type FAS construct, FAS expression and sensitivity to FAS-mediated apoptosis were restored. In aggregate, these findings provide evidence that like normal T cells, CTCL cells exhibit a mechanistic connection between transcriptional regulation of FAS and sensitivity to FAS-mediated apoptosis, point to the development of FAS deficiency as one molecular mechanism responsible for acquired resistance to apoptosis in CTCL, and indicate that upregulation of FAS expression can restore sensitivity to apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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