vFLIP protects PC-12 cells from apoptosis induced by Sindbis virus: Implications for the role of TNF-α

R. Sarid, T. Ben-Moshe, G. Kazimirsky, S. Weisberg, E. Appel, D. Kobiler, S. Lustig, C. Brodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sindbis virus (SV) is an alphavirus used as a model for studying the pathogenesis of viral encephalitis. In this study we examined the effects and the mechanisms involved in the apoptosis induced by SV in PC-12 cells, and the role of a vFLIP in this process. Infection of PC-12 cells with a neurovirulent strain of SV, SVNI, induced cell apoptosis. Overexpression of vFLIP encoded by the HHV-8 or treatment with a caspase-8 inhibitor inhibited cell apoptosis. SVNI induced an increase in the expression of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and pre-treatment of the cells with an anti-TNF-α blocking antibody or with soluble TNF-α receptor abrogated the apoptotic effect of SVNI. Moreover, TNF-αR1 knockout mice were more resistant to the cytopathic effects of the virus as compared to control animals. Our results indicate that the apoptosis induced by SVNI is mediated by activation of caspase-8, and that TNF-α plays an important role in the apoptotic response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation grant 72696-16.6. We wish to thank. Paula Schneider for the excellent technical assistance and Avrille Goldreich for the skillful preparation of the manuscript.


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase-8
  • FLIP
  • Sindbis virus
  • Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)


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