Differential recruitment of caspase 8 to cFlip confers sensitivity or resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis in a subset of familial lymphoma patients
Resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis (FMA) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hematologic malignancies. Recently, a collaborative study showed that germline Fas mutations represent a genetic risk factor for the development of Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here, we report that transformed B cell lines from familial lymphoma patients show a range of sensitivity to Fas-mediated apoptosis with lymphocytes from two patients with a marked resistance to Fas-, but not p53-mediated cell death. Fas resistance in these cells was associated with reduced recruitment of the initiator caspase 8 compared to cFlip, an inhibitor of apoptosis, to the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). A decreased ratio of caspase 8 to cFlip in total cell extracts as well as in the DISC was associated with a profound disturbance of the Fas signaling cascade. We propose here that the relative reduction in caspase 8 to cFlip in the Fas DISC confers a survival advantage to lymphocytes and predisposes to the development of malignancy in some familial lymphoma patients.