Functional consequences of APO-1/fas (CD95) antigen expression by normal and neoplastic hematopoietic cells

Michael J. Robertson, Thomas J. Manley, Gabriella Pichert, Christine Cameron, Keith J. Cochran, Herbert Levine, Jerome Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations


Murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) 7C11 binds to the same cell surface epitope as anti-APO-1 and anti-Fas and reacts specifically with cells transfected with a cDNA encoding the human Fas antigen. Furthermore, incubation with 7C11 causes death of hematopoietic cell lines that express APO-1/Fas but not APO-1/Fas-negative cell lines. 7C11 therefore recognizes the human APO- 1/Fas (CD95) antigen, a 40 to 50 kDa cell surface glycoprotein that can trigger apoptosis or programmed cell death. Expression of APO- 1/Fas antigen by normal and neoplastic hematopoietic cells was determined by flow cytometry using 7C11. APO-1/Fas is expressed by 30 to 40% of resting peripheral blood T cells, B cells, and monocytes and by -5% of resting NK cells and thymocytes. It was not detected on granulocytes, erythrocytes, or platelets. Approximately 80 to 90% of activated T cells, B cells, and thymocytes express APO-1/Fas, as do the majority of activated NK cells. Perturbation of APO-1/Fas by 7C11 does not affect the viability of resting lymphocytes or monocytes. In contrast, activated T cells and NK cells undergo apoptosis within 3 hours of exposure to 7C11. Other mAb that stimulate T cells or NK cells do not cause rapid induction of programmed cell death. APO-1/Fas antigen is expressed by many cell lines of lymphoid and myeloid lineage. However, this antigen was detected on neoplastic cells from only one of 69 patients with acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or multiple myeloma. Only 3 out of 25 tumor samples from patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were found to express APO-1/Fas. All three of these lymphomas harbored the bcl-2-Ig fusion gene associated with the chromosomal translocation t (14; 18). Conversely, only 27% of lymphomas that possessed the bcl-2-Ig gene were found to express the APO-1/Fas antigen. Like normal activated lymphocytes, leukemia and lymphoma cells that expressed APO-1/Fas antigen were found to undergo apoptosis in vitro after incubation with 7C11. The APO-1/Fas antigen appears to regulate the growth of normal hematopoietic cells, and the marked upregulation of this antigen on activated normal lymphocytes contrasts sharply with the absence of APO- 1/Fas on neoplastic cells of hematopoietic lineage. Defects in the apoptotic signal delivered through this antigen might contribute to the pathogenesis of hematopoietic neoplasms. Thus, the gene encoding APO- 1/Fas can be considered a novel type of tumor suppressor gene, just as bcl-2 can be considered a cellular proto-oncogene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • APO-1
  • Apoptosis
  • CD95
  • Fas
  • Programmed cell death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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