Cell cycle-dependent regulation of FLIP levels and susceptibility to Fas-mediated apoptosis

Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Thomas S. Griffith, David H. Lynch, Carlos V. Paya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Activation-induced cell death of peripheral T cells results from the interaction between Fas and Fas ligand. Resting peripheral T cells are resistant to Fas-induced apoptosis and become susceptible only after their activation. We have investigated the molecular mechanism mediating the sensitization of resting peripheral T cells to Fas-mediated apoptosis following TCR stimulation. TCR activation decreases the steady state protein levels of FLIP (FLICE-like inhibitory protein), an inhibitor of the Fas signaling pathway. Reconstitution of intracellular FLIP levels by the addition of a soluble HIV transactivator protein-FLIP chimera completely restores resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis in TCR primary T cells. Inhibition of IL-2 production by cyclosporin A, or inhibition of IL-2 signaling by rapamycin or anti-IL-2 neutralizing Abs prevents the decrease in FLIP levels and confers resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis following T cell activation. Using cell cycle-blocking agents, we demonstrate that activated T cells arrested in G1 phase contain high levels of FLIP protein, whereas activated T cells arrested in S phase have decreased FLIP protein levels. These findings link regulation of FLIP protein levels with cell cycle progression and provide an explanation for the increase in TCR-induced apoptosis observed during the S phase of the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5205-5211
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1999


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