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Background: Fas-associated factor 1 (FAF1) has been implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD) and activates the cell death machinery in the cytosol. However, the presence of extracellular FAF1 has not been studied. Methods: Serum-free conditioned medium (CM) from FAF1-transfected SH-SY5Y cells was concentrated and analyzed by western blotting. Exosomes were isolated from CM by ultracentrifugation and analyzed by western blotting, electron microscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis. Soluble FAF1 from CM was immunodepleted using anti-FAF1 antibody. Transmission of secreted FAF1 was examined by transwell assay under a confocal microscope. CM-induced cell death was determined by measuring propidium iodide (PI) uptake using a flow cytometer. Results: FAF1 was secreted from SH-SY5Y cells via exocytosis and brefeldin A (BFA)-resistant secretory pathways. Furthermore, FAF1 was secreted as a vesicle-free form and a genuine exosome cargo in the lumen of exosomes. In addition, FAF1 increased the number of exosomes, suggesting a regulatory role in exosome biogenesis. Extracellular FAF1 was transmitted via endocytosis to neighboring cells, where it induced cell death through apoptotic and necrotic pathways. Conclusions: This study presents a novel route by which FAF1 induces neuronal death through cell-to-cell transmission. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]
Park, G., Kim, B. S., & Kim, E. (2020). A novel function of FAF1, which induces dopaminergic neuronal death through cell-to-cell transmission. Cell Communication and Signaling, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12964-020-00632-8