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Soluble Fas ligand released by colon adenocarcinoma cells induces host lymphocyte apoptosis: An active mode of immune evasion in colon cancer

, : Soluble Fas ligand released by colon adenocarcinoma cells induces host lymphocyte apoptosis: An active mode of immune evasion in colon cancer. British Journal of Cancer 85(7): 1047-1054, 28 September

Expression of membrane-bound Fas ligand (mFasL) on colon cancer cells serves as a potential mechanism to inhibit host immune function by inducing apoptosis of host lymphocytes. Membrane-bound FasL can be cleaved and released as a soluble mediator (sFasL), which may spread the apoptosis induction effect. Our study examined whether colon adenocarcinoma cells release sFasL, and induce apoptosis of host lymphocytes without direct cell-cell contact. In 12 consecutive patients with colon adenocarcinoma mFasL was identified in the tumours, sFasL was measured in the sera and apoptosis identified in tumour-infiltrating and peripheral blood lymphocytes. To analyse the function of sFasL, colon cancer cells were primarily cultured; sFasL was isolated from supernatants, measured, incubated with Fas-bearing Jurkat cells, and the resulting apoptosis was analysed. Serum levels of sFasL were significantly elevated in all colon cancer patients with mFasL expression in tumour tissues (n=8). In these patients, the number of apoptotic lymphocytes was significantly increased within tumour and peripheral blood. Furthermore, sFasL was present in the corresponding supernatants and induced apoptosis of Jurkat cells in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that mFasL-positive colon cancer cells release sFasL, and thus may induce apoptosis of host lymphocytes as a potential mechanism for immune evasion.


DOI: 10.1054/bjoc.2001.2042

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