Downregulation of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein by '7-Benzylidenenaltrexone maleate' sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potential biological anticancer agent. However, a wide range of human primary cancers, including pancreatic cancer, display resistance to apoptosis induction by TRAIL. Therefore, this resistance needs to be overcome to allow TRAIL to be successfully used in cancer therapy. In this study, we performed a compound screen to isolate TRAIL sensitizers and found that one of the identified compounds, 7-benzylidenenaltrexone maleate (BNTX), sensitized pancreatic cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptotic cell death. The combination of BNTX with TRAIL promoted the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into cytosol with caspase activation and a resulting increase in annexin V-stained cells. From a mechanistic perspective, we found that BNTX downregulated X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) expression when used in combination with TRAIL, and found that TRAIL-induced apoptosis was augmented by siRNA-mediated knockdown of XIAP. We further demonstrated that BNTX promoted the ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent degradation of XIAP protein via protein kinase C (PKC) alpha/AKT pathway inhibition. Moreover, combined treatment by BNTX with TRAIL suppressed growth of pancreatic tumor xenograft of animal model. Therefore, we suggest that inhibitor of apoptosis protein-mediated resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to anticancer therapeutics can be overcome by inhibiting the PKC?/AKT pathway.
Project description:Background:Vitamin E δ-tocotrienol (VEDT), a vitamin E compound isolated from sources such as palm fruit and annatto beans, has been reported to have cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic effects. Methods:We report a novel function of VEDT in augmenting tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand- (TRAIL-) induced apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. The effects of VEDT were shown by its ability to trigger caspase-8-dependent apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Results:When combined with TRAIL, VEDT significantly augmented TRAIL-induced apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells. VEDT decreased cellular FLICE inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) levels without consistently modulating the expression of decoy death receptors 1, 2, 3 or death receptors 4 and 5. Enforced expression of c-FLIP substantially attenuated VEDT/TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Thus, c-FLIP reduction plays an important part in mediating VEDT/TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Moreover, VEDT increased c-FLIP ubiquitination and degradation but did not affect its transcription, suggesting that VEDT decreases c-FLIP levels through promoting its degradation. Of note, degradation of c-FLIP and enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells were observed only with the anticancer bioactive vitamin E compounds δ-, γ-, and β-tocotrienol but not with the anticancer inactive vitamin E compounds α-tocotrienol and α-, β-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol. Conclusions:c-FLIP degradation is a key event for death receptor-induced apoptosis by anticancer bioactive vitamin E compounds in pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, VEDT augmented TRAIL inhibition of pancreatic tumor growth and induction of apoptosis in vivo. Combination therapy with TRAIL agonists and bioactive vitamin E compounds may offer a novel strategy for pancreatic cancer intervention.
Project description:TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potential chemotherapeutic agent with high selectivity for malignant cells. Many tumors, however, are resistant to TRAIL cytotoxicity. Although cellular inhibitors of apoptosis 1 and 2 (cIAP-1 and -2) are often over-expressed in cancers, their role in mediating TRAIL resistance remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that TRAIL-induced apoptosis of liver cancer cells is associated with degradation of cIAP-1 and X-linked IAP (XIAP), whereas cIAP-2 remains unchanged. Lower concentrations of TRAIL causing minimal or no apoptosis do not alter cIAP-1 or XIAP protein levels. Silencing of cIAP-1 expression, but not XIAP or cIAP-2, as well as co-treatment with a second mitochondrial activator of caspases (SMAC) mimetic (which results in rapid depletion of cIAP-1), sensitizes the cells to TRAIL. TRAIL-induced loss of cIAP-1 and XIAP requires caspase activity. In particular, caspase 8 knockdown stabilizes both cIAP-1 and XIAP, while caspase 9 knockdown prevents XIAP, but not cIAP-1 degradation. Cell-free experiments confirmed cIAP-1 is a substrate for caspase 8, with likely multiple cleavage sites. These results suggest that TRAIL-mediated apoptosis proceeds through caspase 8-dependent degradation of cIAP-1. Targeted depletion of cIAP-1 by SMAC mimetics in conjunction with TRAIL may be beneficial for the treatment of human hepatobiliary malignancies.
Project description:Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm with a high mortality rate. Therapeutic agents that activate TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis have shown promising efficacy, but many pancreatic cancers are resistant to TRAIL therapy. Epigenetic regulation plays important roles in tumor pathogenesis and resistance, and a recent study indicated that the long non-coding RNA HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer. However, the role of HOTAIR in pancreatic cancer resistance to anticancer agents is unknown. The present study determined the role of HOTAIR in pancreatic cancer TRAIL resistance and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We observed that TRAIL-resistant pancreatic cancer cells had higher levels of HOTAIR expression, whereas TRAIL-sensitive pancreatic cancer cells had lower HOTAIR levels. Overexpressing HOTAIR in TRAIL-sensitive cells attenuated TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and shRNA-mediated HOTAIR knockdown in TRAIL-resistant PANC-1 cells sensitized them to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These results support a causative effect of HOTAIR on TRAIL sensitivity. Mechanistically, we found that increased HOTAIR expression inhibited the expression of the TRAIL receptor death receptor 5 (DR5), whereas HOTAIR knockdown increased DR5 expression. We further demonstrated that HOTAIR regulates DR5 expression via the epigenetic regulator enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and that EZH2 controls histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation on the DR5 gene. Taken together, these results demonstrate that high HOTAIR levels increase the resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis via epigenetic regulation of DR5 expression. Our study therefore supports the notion that targeting HOTAIR function may represent a strategy to overcome TRAIL resistance in pancreatic cancer.
Project description:TRAIL is a promising anticancer agent, capable of inducing apoptosis in a wide range of treatment-resistant tumor cells. In 'type II' cells, the death signal triggered by TRAIL requires amplification via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Consequently, deregulation of the intrinsic apoptosis-signaling pathway, for example, by loss of Bax and Bak, confers TRAIL-resistance and limits its application. Here, we show that despite resistance of Bax/Bak double-deficient cells, TRAIL-treatment resulted in caspase-8 activation and complete processing of the caspase-3 proenzymes. However, active caspase-3 was degraded by the proteasome and not detectable unless the XIAP/proteasome pathway was inhibited. Direct or indirect inhibition of XIAP by RNAi, Mithramycin A or by the SMAC mimetic LBW-242 as well as inhibition of the proteasome by Bortezomib overcomes TRAIL-resistance of Bax/Bak double-deficient tumor cells. Moreover, activation and stabilization of caspase-3 becomes independent of mitochondrial death signaling, demonstrating that inhibition of the XIAP/proteasome pathway overcomes resistance by converting 'type II' to 'type I' cells. Our results further demonstrate that the E3 ubiquitin ligase XIAP is a gatekeeper critical for the 'type II' phenotype. Pharmacological manipulation of XIAP therefore is a promising strategy to sensitize cells for TRAIL and to overcome TRAIL-resistance in case of central defects in the intrinsic apoptosis-signaling pathway.
Project description:Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) plays an important role in controlling cancer cell survival. IAPs have therefore attracted considerable attention as potential targets in anticancer therapy. In this study, we investigated the anti-tumor effect of AZD5582, a novel small-molecule IAP inhibitor, in human pancreatic cancer cells. Treating human pancreatic cancer cells with AZD5582 differentially induced apoptosis, dependent on the expression of p-Akt and p-XIAP. Moreover, the knockdown of endogenous Akt or XIAP via RNA interference in pancreatic cancer cells, which are resistant to AZD5582, resulted in increased sensitivity to AZD5582, whereas ectopically expressing Akt or XIAP led to resistance to AZD5582. Additionally, AZD5582 targeted cIAP1 to induce TNF-?-induced apoptosis. More importantly, AZD5582 induced a decrease of Mcl-1 protein, a member of the Bcl-2 family, but not that of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Interestingly, ectopically expressing XIAP and cIAP1 inhibited the AZD5582-induced decrease of Mcl-1 protein, which suggests that AZD5582 elicits Mcl-1 decrease for apoptosis induction by targeting of XIAP and cIAP1. Taken together, these results indicate that sensitivity to AZD5582 is determined by p-Akt-inducible XIAP phosphorylation and by targeting cIAP1. Furthermore, Mcl-1 in pancreatic cancer may act as a potent marker to analyze the therapeutic effects of AZD5582.
Project description:7-Benzylidenenaltrexone (BNTX) and most of its derivatives showed in vitro antimalarial activities against chloroquine-resistant and -sensitive Plasmodium falciparum strains (K1 and FCR3, respectively). In addition, the time-dependent changes of the addition reactions of the BNTX derivatives with 1-propanethiol were examined by 1H-NMR experiments to estimate their thiol group-trapping ability. The relative chemical reactivity of the BNTX derivatives to trap the thiol group of 1-propanethiol was correlated highly with the antimalarial activity. Therefore, the measurements of the thiol group-trapping ability of the BNTX derivatives with a Michael acceptor is expected to become an alternative method for in vitro malarial activity and related assays.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Inhibitor of apoptosis (IAPs) proteins are a family of proteins that can block apoptosis in normal cells and have been suggested to cause resistance to apoptosis in cancer. Overexpression of oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases is common in breast cancer; in particular 20% of all cases show elevated Her2. Despite clinical success with the use of targeted therapies, such as Trastuzumab, only up to 35% of Her2-positive patients initially respond. We reasoned that IAP-mediated apoptosis resistance might contribute to this insensitivity to receptor tyrosine kinase therapy, in particular ErbB antagonists. Here we examine the levels of IAPs in breast cancer and evaluate whether targeting IAPs can enhance apoptosis in response to growth factor receptor antagonists and TRAIL. METHODS: IAP levels were examined in a breast cancer cell line panel and in patient samples. IAPs were inhibited using siRNA or cell permeable mimetics of endogenous inhibitors. Cells were then exposed to TRAIL, Trastuzumab, Lapatinib, or Gefitinib for 48 hours. Examining nuclear morphology and staining for cleaved caspase 3 was used to score apoptosis. Proliferation was examined by Ki67 staining. RESULTS: Four members of the IAP family, Survivin, XIAP, cIAP1 and cIAP2, were all expressed to varying extents in breast cancer cell lines or tumours. MDAMB468, BT474 and BT20 cells all expressed XIAP to varying extents. Depleting the cells of XIAP overcame the intrinsic resistance of BT20 and MDAMB468 cells to TRAIL. Moreover, siRNA-based depletion of XIAP or use of a Smac mimetic to target multiple IAPs increased apoptosis in response to the ErbB antagonists, Trastuzumab, Lapatinib or Gefitinib in Her2-overexpressing BT474 cells, or Gefitinib in EGFR-overexpressing MDAMB468 cells. CONCLUSIONS: The novel findings of this study are that multiple IAPs are concomitantly expressed in breast cancers, and that, in combination with clinically relevant Her2 treatments, IAP antagonists promote apoptosis and reduce the cell turnover index of breast cancers. We also show that combination therapy of IAP antagonists with some pro-apoptotic agents (for example, TRAIL) enhances apoptosis of breast cancer cells. In some cases (for example, MDAMB468 cells), the enhanced apoptosis is profound.
Project description:Inability to die by apoptosis is one of the reasons for the deregulated growth of tumour cells and the frequently observed failure of chemotherapy. In this study we thought to identify the common and functionally important characteristics responsible for the apoptosis resistance of pancreatic tumour cells. We analysed cell surface expression level of death receptors CD95 and TRAIL-R1-4 as well as the expression profile of sixteen apoptosis-relevant proteins in five pancreatic carcinoma cell lines Capan1, Colo357, PancTuI, Panc89 and Panc1. These data were evaluated in the context of sensitivity towards anti-CD95 and TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Here we report that except for resistant Panc1 cells, which only marginally expressed CD95, all other cell lines showed comparable levels of CD95 and TRAIL receptors irrespectively of their apoptotic phenotype. Interestingly, we found that the elevated expression of FLIP, Bcl-x(L) and IAP in parallel with a downregulation of FADD and Bid was common for the resistant cell lines. Consequently, stable overexpression of XIAP, Bcl-x(L) or dominant negative FADD in sensitive cells significantly reduced the death receptor mediated apoptosis while the overexpression of Bid rendered the resistant cells sensitive.
Project description:Current treatment modalities for pancreatic carcinoma afford only modest survival benefits. TRAIL, as a potent and specific inducer of apoptosis in cancer cells, would be a promising new treatment option. However, since not all pancreatic cancer cells respond to TRAIL, further improvements and optimizations are still needed. One strategy to improve the effectiveness of TRAIL-based therapies is to specifically target one of the 2 cell death inducing TRAIL-receptors, TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 to overcome resistance. To this end, we designed constructs expressing soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) variants that were rendered specific for either TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 by amino acid changes in the TRAIL ectodomain. When we expressed these constructs, including wild-type sTRAIL (sTRAIL(wt)), TRAIL-R1 (sTRAIL(DR4)) and TRAIL-R2 (sTRAIL(DR5)) specific variants, in 293 producer cells we found all to be readily expressed and secreted into the supernatant. These supernatants were subsequently transferred onto target cancer cells and apoptosis measured. We found that the TRAIL-R1 specific variant had higher apoptosis-inducing activity in human pancreatic carcinoma Colo357 cells as well as PancTu1 cells that were additionally sensitized by targeting of XIAP. Finally, we tested TRAIL-R1 specific recombinant TRAIL protein (rTRAIL(DR4)) on Colo357 xenografts in nude mice and found them to be more efficacious than rTRAIL(wt). Our results demonstrate the benefits of synthetic biological approaches and show that TRAIL-R1 specific variants can potentially enhance the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL-based therapies in pancreatic cancer, suggesting that they can possibly become part of individualized and tumor specific combination treatments in the future.
Project description:This report describes that protein kinase C delta (PKC?) overexpression prevents TRAIL-induced apoptosis in breast tumor cells; however, the regulatory mechanism(s) involved in this phenomenon is(are) incompletely understood. In this study, we have shown that TRAIL-induced apoptosis was significantly inhibited in PKC? overexpressing MCF-7 (MCF7/PKC?) cells. Our data reveal that PKC? inhibits caspase-8 activation, a first step in TRAIL-induced apoptosis, thus preventing TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Inhibition of PKC? using rottlerin or PKC? siRNA reverses the inhibitory effect of PKC? on caspase-8 activation leading to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. To determine if caspase-3-induced PKC? cleavage reverses its inhibition on caspase-8, we developed stable cell lines that either expresses wild-type PKC? (MCF-7/cas-3/PKC?) or caspase-3 cleavage-resistant PKC? mutant (MCF-7/cas-3/PKC? mut) utilizing MCF-7 cells expressing caspase-3. Cells that overexpress caspase-3 cleavage-resistant PKC? mutant (MCF-7/cas-3/PKC?mut) significantly inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis when compared to wild-type PKC? (MCF-7/cas-3/PKC?) expressing cells. In MCF-7/cas-3/PKC?mut cells, TRAIL-induced caspase-8 activation was blocked leading to inhibition of apoptosis when compared to wild-type PKC? (MCF-7/cas-3/PKC?) expressing cells. Together, these results strongly suggest that overexpression of PKC? inhibits caspase-8 activation leading to inhibition of TRAIL-induced apoptosis and its inhibition by rottlerin, siRNA, or cleavage by caspase-3 sensitizes cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Clinically, PKC? overexpressing tumors can be treated with a combination of PKC? inhibitor(s) and TRAIL as a new treatment strategy.