Expression and function of Fas (APO-1/CD95) in patient myeloma cells and myeloma cell lines

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78 Scopus citations


Cross-linkage of the Fas antigen induces programmed cell death in many normal and malignant lymphoid cells by a process known as apoptosis. In this study, we examined the sensitivity of myeloma cell lines and patient plasma cells to a cytolytic anti-Fas monoclonal antibody (MoAb). Eight of 10 myeloma cell lines were induced to undergo programmed cell death by anti-Fas MoAb as determined by DNA fragmentation and morphologic changes. Of the two myeloma cell lines that were resistant to anti-Fas treatment, one did not express the Fas antigen. Only the U266 cell line expressed Fas, but was not killed by the anti-Fas MoAb. To extend these studies, we have examined the expression and function of Fas in freshly isolated CD38(hi)CD45(neg-int) plasma cells from patients with multiple myeloma (MM), monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and primary amyloidosis (AL). By three-color flow cytometry, we found Fas expression in CD38(hi)CD45(neg-int) plasma cells from all patient groups to be variable, as Fas was expressed in 15 of 28 MM, 3 of 6 MGUS, and 2 of 7 AL patients. In morphologic studies of apoptosis, Fas- positive myeloma cells in patient bone marrow mononuclear cell (MNC) cultures appeared to be resistant to anti-Fas-mediated apoptosis. By contrast, purified myeloma cells from the same patient were sensitive to anti-Fas treatment, suggesting the presence of a protective factor(s) in unseparated MNC cultures that may inhibit Fas-induced apoptosis of plasma cells. Of interest, serum from normal individuals and myeloma patients also protected myeloma cell lines from undergoing Fas-mediated apoptosis. These studies show that Fas expression in myeloma cell lines and CD38(hi)CD45(neg-int) patient plasma cells is variable and may reflect a variance in the maturation status of the various plasma cell populations. Moreover, Fas-mediated killing of patient cells and myeloma cell lines was also variable, which may be influenced, in part, by the presence of a soluble protective factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3566-3576
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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