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FAS-associated protein with death domain (FADD) is a major adaptor protein involved in extrinsic apoptosis, embryogenesis, and lymphocyte homeostasis. Although abnormalities of the FADD/death receptor apoptotic pathways have been established in tumorigenesis, fewer studies have analyzed the expression and role of phosphorylated FADD (pFADD). Our identification of FADD as a lymphoma-associated autoantigen in T-cell lymphoma patients raises the possibility that pFADD, with its correlation with cell cycle, may possess role(s) in human T-cell lymphoma development. This immunohistochemical study investigated pFADD protein expression in a range of normal tissues and lymphomas, particularly T-cell lymphomas that require improved therapies. Whereas pFADD was expressed only in scattered normal T cells, it was detected at high levels in T-cell lymphomas (eg, 84% anaplastic large cell lymphoma and 65% peripheral T cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified). The increased expression of pFADD supports further study of its clinical relevance and role in lymphomagenesis, highlighting phosphorylation of FADD as a potential therapeutic target.
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