Cell Death and Differentiation vol:14 issue:5 pages:1040-1049
The apoptosis-inducing Fas ligand (FasL) is a type II transmembrane protein that is involved in the downregulation of immune reactions by activation-induced cell death (AICD) as well as in T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Proteolytic cleavage leads to the generation of membrane-bound N-terminal fragments and a soluble FasL (sFasL) ectodomain. sFasL can be detected in the serum of patients with dysregulated inflammatory diseases and is discussed to affect Fas-FasL-mediated apoptosis. Using pharmacological approaches in 293T cells, in vitro cleavage assays as well as loss and gain of function studies in murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we demonstrate that the disintegrin and metalloprotease ADAM10 is critically involved in the shedding of FasL. In primary human T cells, FasL shedding is significantly reduced after inhibition of ADAM10. The resulting elevated FasL surface expression is associated with increased killing capacity and an increase of T cells undergoing AICD. Overall, our findings suggest that ADAM10 represents an important molecular modulator of FasL-mediated cell death.