Characterization of FAP-1 expression and function in thyroid follicular cells.

PMID 10537175


Human thyrocytes are resistant to Fas-mediated programmed cell death (PCD). It has been reported that a labile protein inhibitor is involved in the protection of thyrocytes from PCD, and its action can be reversed by incubation of thyrocytes with cycloheximide (CHX) during treatment with agonist anti-Fas Ab. Fas-associated phosphatase-1 (FAP-1) is a protein that has been shown to interact with the negative regulatory domain of Fas and block Fas-mediated apoptosis in FAP-1 transfected Jurkat cells. We investigated the possibility that FAP-1 might be involved in protection against Fas-mediated PCD in human thyrocytes. FAP-1 mRNA was detected in primary thyrocytes using a ribonuclease protection assay. The presence of FAP-1 protein was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining and flow cytometry using a polyclonal anti-FAP-1 Ab. FAP-1 protein also disappeared from thyroid cells in response to CHX. To determine whether FAP-1 is a functional inhibitor of PCD in thyrocytes, we incubated thyrocytes with synthetic SLV (Ac-SLV) tripeptide to compete with Fas for interaction with FAP-1. Thyrocytes treated with Ac-SLV tripeptide showed significantly increased cell death as compared to cells treated with control tripeptide. In addition, in the presence of a suboptimal concentration of CHX, the Ac-SLV tripeptide yielded a strong, synergistic increase in Fas-mediated PCD as compared to thyrocytes treated with control tripeptide. These results implicate FAP-1 as a regulator of Fas-induced PCD in thyrocytes.