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Nov 2008 Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Rho-ROCK-dependent ezrin-radixin-moesin phosphorylation regulates Fas-mediated apoptosis in Jurkat cells.


Hébert M, Potin S, Sebbagh M, Bertoglio J, Bréard J, Hamelin J


Upon engagement by its ligand, the Fas receptor (CD95/APO-1) is oligomerized in a manner dependent on F-actin. It has been shown that ezrin, a member of the ERM (ezrin-radixin-moesin) protein family can link Fas to the actin cytoskeleton. We show herein that in Jurkat cells, not only ezrin but also moesin can associate with Fas. The same observation was made in activated human peripheral blood T cells. Fas/ezrin or moesin (E/M) association increases in Jurkat cells following Fas triggering and occurs concomitantly with the formation of SDS- and 2-ME-stable high molecular mass Fas aggregates. Ezrin and moesin have to be present together for the formation of Fas aggregates since down-regulation of either ezrin or moesin expression with small interfering RNAs completely inhibits Fas aggregate formation. Although FADD (Fas-associated death domain protein) and caspase-8 associate with Fas in the absence of E/M, subsequent events such as caspase-8 activation and sensitivity to apoptosis are decreased. During the course of Fas stimulation, ezrin and moesin become phosphorylated, respectively, on T567 and on T558. This phosphorylation is mediated by the kinase ROCK (Rho-associated coiled coil-containing protein kinase) I subsequently to Rho activation. Indeed, inhibition of either Rho or ROCK prevents ezrin and moesin phosphorylation, abrogates the formation of Fas aggregates, and interferes with caspase-8 activation. Thus, phosphorylation of E/M by ROCK is involved in the early steps of apoptotic signaling following Fas triggering and regulates apoptosis induction.

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