CD95 (Fas/APO-1) and tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (TNFR-1) are related molecules that signal apoptosis. Recently, a number of novel binding proteins have been proposed to mediate the signaling of these death receptors. Here we report that an N-terminal truncation of one of these candidate signal transducers, FADD/MORT1, abrogates CD95-induced apoptosis, ceramide generation, and activation of the cell death protease Yama/CPP32. In addition, this dominant-negative derivative of FADD (FADD-DN) blocked TNF- induced apoptosis while not affecting NF-κB activation. FADD-DN bound both receptors, and in the case of CD95, it disrupted the assembly of a signaling complex. Taken together, our results functionally establish FADD as the apoptotic trigger of CD95 and TNFR-1.
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