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Inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase by doxorubicin and brequinar sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis

ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising agent in selectively killing tumor cells. However, TRAIL monotherapy is not especially successful due to the fact that many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL. Chemotherapeutic agents, such as doxorubicin have been shown to act synergistically with TRAIL on cancer cells, but the exact mechanisms of actions are poorly understood. In this study we performed high-throughput siRNA screening and genome-wide gene expression profiling on doxorubicin treated U1690 cells to explore novel mechanisms underlying doxorubicin-TRAIL synergy. The screening and expression profiling results were integrated and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) was identified to be a potential candidate. DHODH is rate-limiting enzyme in the pyrimidine synthesis pathway, and its expression was downregulated by doxorubicin and silencing of DHODH sensitized U1690 cells to TRAIL. Inhibition of DHODH activity by brequinar dramatically increased the sensitivity of U1690 cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and was accompanied by downregulation of cFLIPL and mitochondrial depolarization. However, the expressions of DR4 and 5 were not changed in response to brequinar treatment in contrast to doxorubicin. In addition, uridine, an end product of the pyrimidine synthesis pathway was able to rescue the sensitization effects initialized by both brequinar and doxorubicin. Furthermore, other cancer cell lines, LNCaP, MCF-7 and HT-29 were also shown to be sensitized to TRAIL by brequinar. Taken together, our findings have identified a novel drug, brequinar, to be potentially utilized in TRAIL combinatorial cancer therapy and highlighted for the first time the importance of DHODH and pyrimidine pathway in mediating TRAIL sensitization in cancer cells. Total RNA obtained from small cell lung cancer U1690 cells either treated with DMSO control or 1 µM doxorubicin for 12 or 24h.

ORGANISM(S): Homo sapiens  

SUBMITTER: Saija Haapa-Paananen   Pekka Kohonen  Merja Perälä  Tao He 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-42531 | ArrayExpress | 2013-06-01



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