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Engagement of CD99 induces apoptosis through a calcineurin-independent pathway in Ewing's sarcoma cells

, : Engagement of CD99 induces apoptosis through a calcineurin-independent pathway in Ewing's sarcoma cells. American Journal of Pathology 153(6): 1937-1945

Programmed cell death (PCD) is a prominent feature of the development of the immune and nervous systems. In both systems, widespread PCD occurs in primitive progenitor cells during development. In this study, we demonstrated that Ewing's sarcoma (ES) cells, undifferentiated neural precursors, underwent apoptosis upon engagement of CD99 with anti-CD99 monoclonal antibody. Apoptosis via CD99 occurred only in the undifferentiated state of ES cells, but not in differentiated ES cells. CD99-induced apoptosis in ES cells appeared to require de novo synthesis of RNA and protein as well as caspase activation. Cyclosporin A, known to be a potent inhibitor of both calcineurin activation and mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, inhibited CD99-mediated apoptosis, whereas FK-506, a specific calcineurin inhibitor, did not, indicating the induction of CD99-mediated apoptosis through a calcineurin-independent pathway. Furthermore, the dying cells displayed the reduction of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (delta psi m). These results suggest that CD99 engagement induce CsA-inhibitable mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, followed by a reduction of delta psi m and caspase activation, thereby leading to apoptosis. Based on these results, we suggest the possible involvement of CD99 in the apoptotic processes that occur during nervous system development and also its application in immunotherapeutic trials for ES cases.


PMID: 9846983

DOI: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)65707-0

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