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Increased expression of FLIP, an inhibitor of Fas-mediated apoptosis, in stomach cancer

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Lee SH, Kim HS, Kim SY, Lee YS, Park WS, Kim SH, Lee JY & Yoo NJ. Increased expression of FLIP, an inhibitor of Fas-mediated apoptosis, in stomach cancer. APMIS 2003;111:309–14.

Despite the cell surface expression of Fas (Apo-1/CD95), many types of tumor cells, including stomach cancer cells, are resistant to Fas-mediated apoptosis, indicating the presence of inactivating mechanisms of Fas signaling. Expression of FLICE-like inhibitory protein (FLIP), one of the inhibitory proteins of Fas-mediated apoptosis, has been reported in several cancer types, but not in stomach cancer. In the present study, we analyzed the expression of Fas and FLIP in 60 advanced gastric adenocarcinomas by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray approach. Immunopositivity (defined as ≥30% of the neoplastic cells) was observed for Fas in 58 (97%) and FLIP in 54 (90%) of the 60 cancers. All of the tumors with FLIP immunostaining also showed Fas immunostaining. Loss of cell surface Fas immunostaining, another mechanism of Fas resistance, was observed in 45 tumors (75%). By contrast, normal gastric mucosal cells showed no or weak expression of both Fas and FLIP. Taken together, these results indicate that increased expression of FLIP is a frequent event in stomach carcinomas, and suggest that for evading apoptosis stomach carcinoma cells in vivo may need FLIP expression, which might contribute to tumor development.
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Keywords: FLIP; Fas; apoptosis; stomach cancer

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea 2: Laboratory of Radiation Effect, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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