Requirement of FADD for tumor necrosis factor-induced activation of acid sphingomyelinase.
ABSTRACT The generation of mice strains deficient for select members of the signaling complex of the 55-kDa tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R55) has allowed the assignment of specific cellular responses to distinct TNF-R55-associated proteins. In particular, the TNF-R55-associated protein FADD seems to be responsible for recruitment and subsequent activation of caspase 8. In this report we demonstrate the requirement of FADD for TNF-induced activation of endosomal acid sphingomyelinase (A-SMase). In primary embryonic fibroblasts from FADD-deficient mice the activation of A-SMase by TNF-R55 ligation was almost completely impaired. This effect is specific in that other TNF responses like activation of NF-kappaB or neutral (N-)SMase remained unaffected. In addition, interleukin-1-induced activation of A-SMase in FADD-deficient cells was unaltered. In FADD-/- embryonic fibroblasts reconstituted by transfection with a FADD cDNA expression construct, the TNF responsiveness of A-SMase was restored. The results of this study suggest that FADD, in addition to its role in triggering a proapoptotic caspase cascade, is required for TNF-induced activation of A-SMase.