Endogenous cellular chromophores absorb ultraviolet A radiation (UVA, 290–320 nm), the major UV component of terrestrial solar radiation, leading to the formation of reactive oxidizing species that initiate apoptosis, gene expression and mutagenesis. UVA-induced apoptosis of T helper cells is believed to underlie the UVA phototherapy for atopic dermatitis and other T cell–mediated inflammatory skin diseases. We have evaluated the involvement of the Fas–Fas ligand (FasL) pathway in rapid UVA-induced apoptosis in human leukemia HL-60 cells. UVA-induced apoptosis was not inhibited by pretreatment with a neutralizing anti-Fas antibody, although the same UVA treatment initiated cleavage of caspase-8 and subsequent processing of Bid and caspase-3–like proteases. Inhibition of caspase-8 by Lle-Glu (OMe)-Thr-Asp(OMe)-fluoromethyl ketone completely blocked caspase-3 cleavage and apoptosis in UVA-treated cells, suggesting that apoptosis was initiated by the Fas pathway. This inference was supported by demonstrating that immunoprecipitates obtained from UVA-treated cells using anti-Fas antibody contained caspase-8 and Fas-associating protein with death domain (FADD). In addition, Fas clustering in response to UVA treatment was observed by immunofluorescence microscopy. These data support a mechanism for rapid, UVA-induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells involving initial formation of the Fas–FADD–caspase-8 death complex in an FasL-independent manner.
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Vol. 78 • No. 1