Portrait of an Executioner: The Molecular Mechanism of FAS/APO-1-induced Apoptosis

Semin Immunol. 1997 Feb;9(1):69-76. doi: 10.1006/smim.1996.0055.


Fas/APO-1 is a member of the TNF receptor family and plays a dominant role in the immune system, down-regulating the immune response and contributing to T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Activation of Fas/APO-1 by either natural ligand or agonist antibody initiates apoptosis. Until recently, however, the mechanism by which Fas/APO-1 engages the cell death machinery has been an enigma. Here we describe a proposed molecular mechanism by which this cell surface death receptor signals the suicide response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology*
  • Caspase 1
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Sequence Homology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • fas Receptor / metabolism*


  • fas Receptor
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Caspase 1