The multifaceted role of Fas signaling in immune cell homeostasis and autoimmunity

Nat Immunol. 2000 Dec;1(6):469-74. doi: 10.1038/82712.


Originally identified as a cell surface receptor that triggered the death of lymphocytes and tumor cells, it is now recognized that Fas (also known as CD95 or Apo-I) has distinct functions in the life and death of different cell types in the immune system. Fas signaling may also be involved in T cell costimulation and proliferation. Although Fas deficiency in humans and mice predisposes them towards systemic autoimmunity, Fas-FasL interactions can also facilitate organ-specific immunopathology. Proximal signaling by Fas and related receptors depends on subunit preassembly, which accounts for the dominant-negative effect of pathogenic receptor mutants and natural splice variants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / genetics
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • fas Receptor / genetics
  • fas Receptor / metabolism*


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • fas Receptor
  • Caspases