Fas deletion can prevent the death of 5% to 10% of Tak1(-/-) HSPCs but fails to further improve the survival of Tak1(-/-)Tnfr1(-/-)r2(-/-) HSPCs, suggesting that Fas might induce death within a subset of TNF-α-sensitive HSPCs. This TNF-α/Fas-induced cell death is a type of receptor-interacting protein-1 (RIP-1)-dependent programmed necrosis called necroptosis, which can be prevented by necrostatin-1, a specific RIP-1 inhibitor.
In addition, we found that the remaining Tak1(-/-) HSPCs died of apoptosis mediated by the caspase-8-dependent extrinsic apoptotic pathway.
This apoptosis can be converted into necroptosis by the inhibition of caspase-8 and prevented by inhibiting both caspase-8 and RIP-1 activities.
We concluded that HSPCs are heterogeneous populations in response to death signaling stimulation. Tak1 mediates a critical survival signal, which protects against both TNF-α/Fas-RIP-1-dependent necroptosis and TNF-α/Fas-independent apoptosis in HSPCs.