Fas and Fas ligand (FasL) have been found both in lymphoid and in non- lymphoid malignancies, and are thought to play a role in the interplay between tumors and the immune system. Here we investigated Fas/FasL expression, function and intracellular signalling pathways in human melanomas. Of 5 melanoma cell lines, 3 expressed Fas at their surface, and all of them expressed FasL. FasL was functional, since it triggered Fas- induced apoptosis of human T lymphocytes clones. Conversely, cross-linking of Fas molecule with a specific monoclonal antibody failed to induce apoptosis in any of the melanomas tested, or ceramide intracellular accumulation or caspase-3 activation, pointing to an early alteration in the Fas-triggered signaling cascade. All melanomas retained the ability to undergo apoptosis induced by cytotoxic lymphocytes, which was mediated by the granule exocytosis mechanism. This suggests that melanoma cells evade immune-mediated Fas-triggered apoptosis via a selective blockade of the Fas apoptotic pathway. Cytotoxic lymphocytes, however, may circumvent tumor resistance to Fas-induced death via granzyme-mediated apoptosis, further supporting the development of immunotherapeutic strategies in the treatment of cancer.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Cancer|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research