Sub-toxic dose of apigenin sensitizes HepG2 cells to TRAIL through ERK-dependent up-regulation of TRAIL receptor DR5.
ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is regarded as a promising candidate for anticancer therapy due to its selective toxicity to cancer cells. Nevertheless, because of TRAIL resistance in some cancer cells, combined treatment with sensitizing agents is required to enhance the anticancer potential of TRAIL. In this study, we investigated the underlying mechanism of apigenin-induced sensitization of HepG2 cells to TRAIL-induced cell death. Synergistic induction of apoptosis by combination was confirmed by examining the typical morphology changes of apoptosis, PARP-cleavage, and activation of effector caspases. Z-VAD-fmk, a pan-caspase inhibitor, inhibited the enhanced cell death by combined treatment of apigenin and TRAIL, demonstrating that a caspase-dependent pathway is involved in apigenin/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. In addition, we found that apigenin/ TRAIL co-treatment up-regulates DR5 cell surface expression. The synergistic induction of cell death by the apigenin/ TRAIL combination was significantly attenuated by DR5 blocking chimera antibody. Next, using pharmacological inhibitors, we found that ERK activation is involved in the induction of DR5 expression. Inhibition of ERK1/2 by U0126 significantly decreased the apigenin/TRAIL-induced DR5 expression and apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicate that apigenin can enhance the apoptotic effect of TRAIL via ERK-induced up-regulation of DR5.
Project description:Apo2 ligand (Apo2L)/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising cancer therapeutic agent. Recombinant human Apo2L/TRAIL has been under clinical trials, whereas various kinds of malignant tumors have resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL. We and others have shown that several anticancer agents and flavonoids overcome resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL by upregulating death receptor 5 (DR5) in malignant tumor cells. However, the mechanisms by which these compounds induce DR5 expression remain unknown. Here we show that the dietary flavonoid apigenin binds and inhibits adenine nucleotide translocase-2 (ANT2), resulting in enhancement of Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulation of DR5. Apigenin and genistein, which are major flavonoids, enhanced Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Apigenin induced DR5 expression, but genistein did not. Using our method identifying the direct targets of flavonoids, we compared the binding proteins of apigenin with those of genistein. We discovered that ANT2 was a target of apigenin, but not genistein. Similarly to apigenin, knockdown of ANT2 enhanced Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulating DR5 expression at the post-transcriptional level. Moreover, silencing of ANT2 attenuated the enhancement of Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis by apigenin. These results suggest that apigenin upregulates DR5 and enhances Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis by binding and inhibiting ANT2. We propose that ANT2 inhibitors may contribute to Apo2L/TRAIL therapy.
Project description:Apigenin (APG) is an edible plant-derived flavonoid that shows modest antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo. APG treatment results in cell growth arrest and apoptosis in various types of tumors by modulating several signaling pathways. In the present study, we evaluated interactions between APG and TRAIL in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. We observed a synergistic effect between APG and TRAIL on apoptosis of NSCLC cells. A549 cells and H1299 cells were resistant to TRAIL treatment alone. The presence of APG sensitized NSCLC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulating the levels of death receptor 4 (DR4) and death receptor 5 (DR5) in a p53-dependent manner. Consistently, the pro-apoptotic proteins Bad and Bax were upregulated, while the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xl and Bcl-2 were downregulated. Meanwhile, APG suppressed NF-?B, AKT and ERK activation. Treatment with specific small-molecule inhibitors of these pathways enhanced TRAIL-induced cell death, mirroring the effect of APG. Furthermore, using a mouse xenograft model, we demonstrated that the combined treatment completely suppressed tumor growth as compared with APG or TRAIL treatment alone. Our results demonstrate a novel strategy to enhance TRAIL-induced antitumor activity in NSCLC cells by APG via inhibition of the NF-?B, AKT and ERK prosurvival regulators.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively targets cancer cells. The present preclinical study investigated the anti-cancer efficiency of ONC201, a first-in-class small molecule TRAIL inducer, in lung cancer cells. We showed that ONC201 was cytotoxic and anti-proliferative in both established (A549 and H460 lines) and primary human lung cancer cells. It was yet non-cytotoxic to normal lung epithelial cells. Further, ONC201 induced exogenous apoptosis activation in lung cancer cells, which was evidenced by TRAIL/death receptor-5 (DR5) induction and caspase-8 activation. The caspase-8 inhibitor or TRAIL/DR5 siRNA knockdown alleviated ONC201's cytotoxicity against lung cancer cells. Molecularly, ONC201 in-activated Akt-S6K1 and Erk signalings in lung cancer cells, causing Foxo3a nuclear translocation. For the in vivo studies, intraperitoneal injection of ONC201 at well-tolerated doses significantly inhibited xenografted A549 tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Further, ONC201 administration induced TRAIL/DR5 expression, yet inactivated Akt-S6K1 and Erk in tumor tissues. These results of the study demonstrates the potent anti-lung cancer activity by ONC201.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potent cancer cell-specific apoptosis-inducing cytokine with little toxicity to most normal cells. However, acquired resistance of cancer cells to TRAIL is a roadblock. Agents that can either potentiate the effect of TRAIL or overcome resistance to TRAIL are urgently needed. This article reports that ginsenoside compound K (CK) potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in HCT116 colon cancer cells and sensitizes TRAIL-resistant colon cancer HT-29 cells to TRAIL. On a cellular mechanistic level, CK downregulated cell survival proteins including Mcl-1, Bcl-2, surviving, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein and Fas-associated death domain-like IL-1-converting enzyme-inhibitory protein, upregulated cell pro-apoptotic proteins including Bax, tBid and cytochrome c, and induced the cell surface expression of TRAIL death receptor DR5. Reduction of DR5 levels by siRNAs significantly decreases CK- and TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Importantly, our results indicate, for the first time, that DR5 upregulation is mediated by autophagy, as blockade of CK-induced autophagy by 3-MA, LY294002 or Atg7 siRNAs substantially decreases DR5 upregulation and reduces the synergistic effect. Furthermore, CK-stimulated autophagy is mediated by the reactive oxygen species-c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathway. Moreover, we found that p53 and the C/EBP homologous (CHOP) protein is also required for DR5 upregulation but not related with autophagy. Our findings contribute significantly to the understanding of the mechanism accounted for the synergistic anticancer activity of CK and TRAIL, and showed a novel mechanism related with DR5 upregulation.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive malignant brain tumour in humans and is highly resistant to current treatment modalities. We have explored the combined treatment of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-inducing agent 2,5-dimethyl-celecoxib (DMC) and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL WT) or the DR5-specific TRAIL D269H/E195R variant as a potential new strategy to eradicate GBM cells using TRAIL-resistant and -sensitive GBM cells. GBM cell lines were investigated for their sensitivity to TRAIL, DMC and combination of both agents. Cell viability was measured by MTS assay and apoptosis was assessed by Annexin V/PI and acridine orange staining. Caspase activation and protein expression levels were analysed with Western blotting. Death Receptor (DR) cell surface expression levels were quantified by flow cytometry. DR5 expression was increased in U87 cells by ectopic expression using a retroviral plasmid and survivin expression was silenced using specific siRNAs. We demonstrate that A172 expresses mainly DR5 on the cell surface and that these cells show increased sensitivity for the DR5-specific rhTRAIL D269H/E195R variant. In contrast, U87 cells show low DR cell surface levels and is insensitive via both DR4 and DR5. We determined that DMC treatment displays a dose-dependent reduction in cell viability against a number of GBM cells, associated with ER stress induction, as shown by the up-regulation of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and CCAAT/-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) in A172 and U87 cells. The dramatic decrease in cell viability is not accompanied by a correspondent increase in Annexin V/PI or caspase activation typically seen in apoptotic or/and necrotic cells within 24h of treatment. Although DMC did not affect DR5 expression in the GBM cells, it increased TRAIL-induced caspase-8 activation in both TRAIL-sensitive and -resistant cells, indicating that DMC potentiates initiator caspase activation in these cells. In A172 cells, sub-toxic concentrations of DMC greatly potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, DMC strongly reduced survivin expression in A172 and U87 cells and silencing of this anti-apoptotic protein partially sensitized cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Our findings corroborate that DMC is a promising agent against GBM, and uncovers a potential synergistic cooperation with TRAIL in this highly malignant cancer.
Project description:Because tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively kills tumor cells, it is being tested in cancer patients. Unfortunately, patients develop resistance to the cytokine, therefore, agents that can sensitize cells to TRAIL are urgently needed. In this study, we investigated whether dibenzylideneacetone (DBA) can sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL and potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis. As indicated by accumulation of the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine, DNA breaks, intracellular esterase activity, and activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3, we concluded that DBA potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells. DBA also converted TRAIL resistant-cells to TRAIL-sensitive. When examined for the mechanism, we found that DBA decreased the expression of antiapoptotic proteins and decoy receptor-2 and increased proapoptotic proteins. DBA also induced both death receptor (DR)-5 and DR4. Knockdown of DR5 and DR4 by small interfering RNA (SiRNA) reduced the sensitizing effect of DBA on TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In addition, DBA increased the expression of CHOP proteins. Knockdown of CHOP by siRNA decreased the induction of DBA-induced DR5 expression and apoptosis. Induction of receptors by DBA, however, was p53-independent, as deletion of p53 had no effect on receptor induction. We observed that DBA-induced induction of DR5 and DR4 was mediated through generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as N-acetylcysteine blocked the induction of death receptors and suppression of cell survival proteins by DBA. Overall, our results show that DBA potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis through downregulation of cell survival proteins and upregulation of death receptors via activation of ROS and CHOP mediated pathways.
Project description:Azithromycin is a member of macrolide antibiotics, and has been reported to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. However, the underlying mechanisms are not been fully elucidated. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively targets tumor cells without damaging healthy cells. In the present study, we examined whether azithromycin is synergistic with TRAIL, and if so, the underlying mechanisms in colon cancers.HCT-116, SW480, SW620 and DiFi cells were treated with azithromycin, purified TRAIL, or their combination. A sulforhoddamine B assay was used to examine cell survival. Apoptosis was examined using annexin V-FITC/PI staining, and autophagy was observed by acridine orange staining. Western blot analysis was used to detect protein expression levels. In mechanistic experiments, siRNAs were used to knockdown death receptors (DR4, DR5) and LC-3B. The anticancer effect of azithromycin and TRAIL was also examined in BALB/c nude mice carrying HCT-116 xenografts.Azithromycin decreased the proliferation of HCT-116 and SW480 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Combination of azithromycin and TRAIL inhibited tumor growth in a manner that could not be explained by additive effects. Azithromycin increased the expressions of DR4, DR5, p62 and LC-3B proteins and potentiated induction of apoptosis by TRAIL. Knockdown of DR4 and DR5 with siRNAs increased cell survival rate and decreased the expression of cleaved-PARP induced by the combination of azithromycin and TRAIL. LC-3B siRNA and CQ potentiated the anti-proliferation activity of TRAIL alone, and increased the expressions of DR4 and DR5.The synergistic antitumor effect of azithromycin and TRAIL mainly relies on the up-regulations of DR4 and DR5, which in turn result from LC-3B-involved autophagy inhibition.
Project description:TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) is a well-known apoptosis inducer, which activates the extrinsic death pathway. TRAIL is pro-apoptotic on colon cancer cells, while not cytotoxic towards normal healthy cells. However, its clinical use is limited by cell resistance to cell death which occurs in approximately 50% of cancer cells. Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) are also known to specifically induce apoptosis of cancer cells. In accordance, we have shown that food grade dairy propionibacteria induce intrinsic apoptosis of colon cancer cells, via the production and release of SCFA (propionate and acetate) acting on mitochondria. Here, we investigated possible synergistic effect between Propionibacterium freudenreichii and TRAIL. Indeed, we hypothesized that acting on both extrinsic and intrinsic death pathways may exert a synergistic pro-apoptotic effect. Whole transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that propionibacterial supernatant or propionibacterial metabolites (propionate and acetate), in combination with TRAIL, increased pro-apoptotic gene expression (TRAIL-R2/DR5) and decreased anti-apoptotic gene expression (FLIP, XIAP) in HT29 human colon cancer cells. The revealed synergistic pro-apoptotic effect, depending on both death receptors (TRAIL-R1/DR4, TRAIL-R2/DR5) and caspases (caspase-8, -9 and -3) activation, was lethal on cancer cells but not on normal human intestinal epithelial cells (HIEC), and was inhibited by Bcl-2 expression. Finally, milk fermented by P. freudenreichii induced HT29 cells apoptosis and enhanced TRAIL cytotoxic activity, as did P. freudenreichii DMEM culture supernatants or its SCFA metabolites. These results open new perspectives for food grade P. freudenreichii-containing products in order to potentiate TRAIL-based cancer therapy in colorectal cancer.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the TNF superfamily that can initiate the apoptosis pathway by binding to its associated death receptors DR4 and DR5. The activation of the TRAIL pathway in inducing tumor-selective apoptosis leads to the development of TRAIL-based cancer therapies, which include recombinant forms of TRAIL, TRAIL receptor agonists, and other therapeutic agents. Importantly, TRAIL, DR4, and DR5 can all be induced by synthetic and natural agents that activate the TRAIL apoptosis pathway in cancer cells. Thus, understanding the regulation of the TRAIL apoptosis pathway can aid in the development of TRAIL-based therapies for the treatment of human cancer.
Project description:B-Raf inhibitors have been used for the treatment of some B-Raf-mutated cancers. They effectively inhibit B-Raf/MEK/ERK signaling in cancers harboring mutant B-Raf, but paradoxically activates MEK/ERK in Ras-mutated cancers. Death receptor 5 (DR5), a cell surface pro-apoptotic protein, triggers apoptosis upon ligation with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) or aggregation. This study focused on determining the effects of B-Raf inhibition on DR5 expression and DR5 activation-induced apoptosis in Ras-mutant cancer cells. Using chemical and genetic approaches, we have demonstrated that the B-Raf inhibitor PLX4032 induces DR5 upregulation exclusively in Ras-mutant cancer cells; this effect is dependent on Ras/c-Raf/MEK/ERK signaling activation. PLX4032 induces DR5 expression at transcriptional levels, largely due to enhancing CHOP/Elk1-mediated DR5 transcription. Pre-exposure of Ras-mutated cancer cells to PLX4032 sensitizes them to TRAIL-induced apoptosis; this is also a c-Raf/MEK/ERK-dependent event. Collectively, our findings highlight a previously undiscovered effect of B-Raf inhibition on the induction of DR5 expression and the enhancement of DR5 activation-induced apoptosis in Ras-mutant cancer cells and hence may suggest a novel therapeutic strategy against Ras-mutated cancer cells by driving their death due to DR5-dependent apoptosis through B-Raf inhibition.