Faculty Advisor

Rulfs, Jill


Fas Receptor and Fas Ligand have been shown to mediate cell apoptosis and both have altered expression in prostate cancer cells. In the tumor cells there are increased levels of a soluble form of FasLigand rather than membrane bound. We tested whether the expression of a non-cleavable Fas Ligand on a non-androgen responsive prostate cancer cell line, PC3, would alter growth. Transfected cell lines expressing a soluable Fas Ligand (sFasL), non-cleavable Fas Ligand (ncFasL), or wild-type Fas L (wtFasL) were produced. Studies were done to assess the rate of growth of each of the transfected cell lines, measure the surface expression of FasL, quantify the effect of ncFasL on cell apoptosis, and determine if an anti-tumor cell cytotoxic neutrophil response could be elicited in vivo. Studies indicated that ncFasL transfected cell lines grows at essentially the same rate as the wild-type cell line which suggested that the cells may have downregulated the ncFasL expression or become insensitive to Fas:FasL mediated apoptosis. ncFasLPC3's were able to induce apoptosis in both the ncFasLPC3 and the non-transfected PC3 cell lines. However, ncFasL induced apoptotic cell death in non-transfected Pc3 targets. In addition transfer in vivo induced neutrophil response.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2002



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology