MicroRNA-7 upregulates death receptor 5 and primes resistant brain tumors to caspase-mediated apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: Background:MicroRNAs (miRs) are known to play a pivotal role in tumorigenesis, controlling cell proliferation and apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the potential of miR-7 to prime resistant tumor cells to apoptosis in glioblastoma (GBM). Methods:We created constitutive and regulatable miR-7 expression vectors and utilized pharmacological inhibition of caspases and genetic loss of function to study the effect of forced expression of miR-7 on death receptor (DR) pathways in a cohort of GBM with established resistance to tumor necrosis factor apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) and in patient-derived primary GBM stem cell (GSC) lines. We engineered adeno-associated virus (AAV)-miR-7 and stem cell (SC) releasing secretable (S)-TRAIL and utilized real time in vivo imaging and neuropathology to understand the effect of the combined treatment of AAV-miR-7 and SC-S-TRAIL in vitro and in mouse models of GBM from TRAIL-resistant GSC. Results:We show that expression of miR-7 in GBM cells results in downregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor and phosphorylated Akt and activation of nuclear factor-kappaB signaling. This leads to an upregulation of DR5, ultimately priming resistant GBM cells to DR-ligand, TRAIL-induced apoptotic cell death. In vivo, a single administration of AAV-miR-7 significantly decreases tumor volumes, upregulates DR5, and enables SC-delivered S-TRAIL to eradicate GBM xenografts generated from patient-derived TRAIL-resistant GSC, significantly improving survival of mice. Conclusions:This study identifies the unique role of miR-7 in linking cell proliferation to death pathways that can be targeted simultaneously to effectively eliminate GBM, thus presenting a promising strategy for treating GBM.
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:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive brain tumor and is associated with poor prognosis. GBM cells are frequently resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and finding new combinatorial therapies to sensitize glioma cells to TRAIL remains an important challenge. PIM kinases are serine/threonine kinases that promote cell survival and proliferation and are highly expressed in different tumors. In this work, we studied the role of PIM kinases as regulators of TRAIL sensitivity in GBM cells. Remarkably, PIM inhibition or knockdown facilitated activation by TRAIL of a TRAIL-R2/DR5-mediated and mitochondria-operated apoptotic pathway in TRAIL-resistant GBM cells. The sensitizing effect of PIM knockdown on TRAIL-induced apoptosis was mediated by enhanced caspase-8 recruitment to and activation at the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). Interestingly, TRAIL-induced internalization of TRAIL-R2/DR5 was significantly reduced in PIM knockdown cells. Phospho-proteome profiling revealed a decreased phosphorylation of p62/SQSTM1 after PIM knockdown. Our results also showed an interaction between p62/SQSTM1 and the DISC that was reverted after PIM knockdown. In line with this, p62/SQSTM1 ablation increased TRAIL-R2/DR5 levels and facilitated TRAIL-induced caspase-8 activation, revealing an inhibitory role of p62/SQSTM1 in TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in GBM. Conversely, upregulation of TRAIL-R2/DR5 upon PIM inhibition and apoptosis induced by the combination of PIM inhibitor and TRAIL were abrogated by a constitutively phosphorylated p62/SQSTM1S332E mutant. Globally, our data represent the first evidence that PIM kinases regulate TRAIL-induced apoptosis in GBM and identify a specific role of p62/SQSTM1Ser332 phosphorylation in the regulation of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway activated by TRAIL.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis specifically in tumor cells and its efficacy has been tested in pre-clinical models by delivering it systemically as a purified ligand or via engineered stem cells (SC). However, about 50% of tumor lines are resistant to TRAIL and overcoming TRAIL resistance in aggressive tumors, such as glioblastoma-multiforme (GBM), and understanding the molecular dynamics of TRAIL-based combination therapies are critical to broadly use TRAIL as a therapeutic agent. In this study, we developed death receptor (DR)4/5-reporters that offer an imaging-based platform to identify agents that act in concert with a potent, secretable variant of TRAIL (S-TRAIL) by monitoring changes in DR4/5 expression. Utilizing these reporters, we show a differential regulation of DR4/5 when exposed to a panel of clinically relevant agents. A histone deacetylase inhibitor, MS-275, resulted in upregulation of DR4/5 in all GBM cell lines, and these changes could be followed in real time both in vitro and in vivo in mice bearing tumors and they correlated with increased TRAIL sensitivity. To further assess the dynamics of combinatorial strategies that overcome resistance of tumors to SC released S-TRAIL, we also engineered tumor cells to express live-cell caspase-reporters and SCs to express S-TRAIL. Utilizing DR4/5 and caspase reporters in parallel, we show that MS-275 sensitizes TRAIL-resistant GBM cells to stem cell (SC) delivered S-TRAIL by changing the time-to-death in vitro and in vivo. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a combination of real-time reporters of TRAIL-induced apoptosis pathway in evaluating the efficacy of SC-TRAIL-based therapeutics and may have implications in targeting a broad range of cancers.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and malignant brain tumor, and current treatment modalities such as surgical resection, adjuvant radiotherapy and temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy are ineffective. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a novel cancer therapeutic agent for GBM because of its capability of inducing apoptosis in glioma cells. Unfortunately, the majority of glioma cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The Bcl-2 nineteen kilodalton interacting protein (BNIP3) is a pro-cell death BH3-only member of the Bcl-2 family that is one of the highest expressed genes in hypoxic regions of GBM tumors. We previously found that BNIP3 is localized to the nucleus in GBM tumors and suppresses cell death in glioma cells. Herein, we have discovered when BNIP3 nuclear expression is knockdown in glioma cell lines and in normal mouse astrocytes, TRAIL and its death receptor, death receptor-5 (DR5) expression is increased. In addition, when nuclear BNIP3 expression is increased, the amount of TRAIL-induced apoptosis is reduced. Using a streptavidin pull-down assay, we found that BNIP3 binds to the DR5 promoter and nuclear BNIP3 binds to the DR5 promoter. Furthermore, nuclear BNIP3 expression in GBM tumors correlates with decreased DR5 expression. Taken together, we have discovered a novel transcriptional repression function for BNIP3 conferring a TRAIL resistance in glioma cells.
Project description:Glioblastoma-derived stem cells (GSCs) are responsible for the cancer resistance to therapies. We show here that GSC-enriched neurospheres are resistant to the treatment of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) due to the insufficient expression of the death receptor DR4 and DR5 and the overexpression of cellular Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1β-converting enzyme-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). However, treatment with cisplatin leads to the upregulation of DR5 and downregulation of c-FLIP and restores TRAIL apoptotic pathway in the neurospheres. This study suggests that the combined treatment of TRAIL and cisplatin can induce apoptosis in GSCs and thus provide an effective treatment of glioblastomas.
Project description:Temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy, in combination with maximal safe resection and radiotherapy, is the current standard of care for patients with glioblastoma (GBM). Despite this multimodal approach, GBM inevitably relapses primarily due to resistance to chemo-radiotherapy, and effective treatment is not available for recurrent disease. In this study we identified TMZ resistant patient-derived primary and previously treated recurrent GBM stem cells (GSC), and investigated the therapeutic activity of a pro-apoptotic variant of oHSV (oHSV-TRAIL) in vitro and in vivo. We show that oHSV-TRAIL modulates cell survival and MAP Kinase proliferation signaling pathways as well as DNA damage response pathways in both primary and recurrent TMZ-resistant GSC. Utilizing real time in vivo imaging and correlative immunohistochemistry, we show that oHSV-TRAIL potently inhibits tumor growth and extends survival of mice bearing TMZ-insensitive recurrent intracerebral GSC tumors via robust and selective induction of apoptosis-mediated death in tumor cells, resulting in cures in 40% of the treated mice. In comparison, the anti-tumor effects in a primary chemoresistant GSC GBM model exhibiting a highly invasive phenotype were significant but less prominent. This work thus demonstrates the ability of oHSV-TRAIL to overcome the therapeutic resistance and recurrence of GBM, and provides a basis for its testing in a GBM clinical trial.
Project description:Despite advances in standard therapies, the survival of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients has not improved. Limitations to successful translation of new therapies include poor delivery of systemic therapies and use of simplified preclinical models which fail to reflect the clinical complexity of GBMs. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis specifically in tumor cells and we have tested its efficacy by on-site delivery via engineered stem cells (SC) in mouse models of GBM that mimic the clinical scenario of tumor aggressiveness and resection. However, about half of tumor lines are resistant to TRAIL and overcoming TRAIL-resistance in GBM by combining therapeutic agents that are currently in clinical trials with SC-TRAIL and understanding the molecular dynamics of these combination therapies are critical to the broad use of TRAIL as a therapeutic agent in clinics. In this study, we screened clinically relevant chemotherapeutic agents for their ability to sensitize resistant GBM cell lines to TRAIL induced apoptosis. We show that low dose cisplatin increases surface receptor expression of death receptor 4/5 post G2 cycle arrest and sensitizes GBM cells to TRAIL induced apoptosis. In vivo, using an intracranial resection model of resistant primary human-derived GBM and real-time optical imaging, we show that a low dose of cisplatin in combination with synthetic extracellular matrix encapsulated SC-TRAIL significantly decreases tumor regrowth and increases survival in mice bearing GBM. This study has the potential to help expedite effective translation of local stem cell-based delivery of TRAIL into the clinical setting to target a broad spectrum of GBMs.
Project description:TRAIL-activating therapy is promising in treating various cancers, including pancreatic cancer, a highly malignant neoplasm with poor prognosis. However, many pancreatic cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis despite their expression of intact death receptors (DRs). Protein O-GlcNAcylation is a versatile posttranslational modification that regulates various biological processes. Elevated protein O-GlcNAcylation has been recently linked to cancer cell growth and survival. In this study, we evaluated the role of protein O-GlcNAcylation in pancreatic cancer TRAIL resistance, and identified higher levels of O-GlcNAcylation in TRAIL-resistant pancreatic cancer cells. With gain- and loss-of-function of the O-GlcNAc-adding enzyme, O-GlcNActransferase (OGT), we determined that increasing O-GlcNAcylation rendered TRAIL-sensitive cells more resistant to TRA-8-induced apoptosis, while inhibiting O-GlcNAcylation promoted TRA-8-induced apoptosis in TRAIL-resistance cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that OGT knockdown sensitized TRAIL-resistant cells to TRA-8 therapy in a mouse model in vivo. Mechanistic studies revealed direct O-GlcNAc modifications of DR5, which regulated TRA-8-induced DR5 oligomerization. We further defined that DR5 O-GlcNAcylation was independent of FADD, the adapter protein for the downstream death-inducing signaling. These studies have demonstrated an important role of protein O-GlcNAcylation in regulating TRAIL resistance of pancreatic cancer cells; and uncovered the contribution of O-GlcNAcylation to DR5 oligomerization and thus mediating DR-inducing signaling.
Project description:The tumour necrosis factor family member TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells through the activation of death receptors 4 (DR4) and 5 (DR5) and is considered a promising anticancer therapeutic agent. As apoptosis seems to occur primarily via only one of the two death receptors in many cancer cells, the introduction of DR selectivity is thought to create more potent TRAIL agonists with superior therapeutic properties. By use of a computer-aided structure-based design followed by rational combination of mutations, we obtained variants that signal exclusively via DR4. Besides an enhanced selectivity, these TRAIL-DR4 agonists show superior affinity to DR4, and a high apoptosis-inducing activity against several TRAIL-sensitive and -resistant cancer cell lines in vitro. Intriguingly, combined treatment of the DR4-selective variant and a DR5-selective TRAIL variant in cancer cell lines signalling by both death receptors leads to a significant increase in activity when compared with wild-type rhTRAIL or each single rhTRAIL variant. Our results suggest that TRAIL induced apoptosis via high-affinity and rapid-selective homotrimerization of each DR represent an important step towards an efficient cancer treatment.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) has attracted great interest as a cancer therapy because it selectively induces death receptor (DR)-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells while sparing normal tissue. However, recombinant human TRAIL demonstrates limited therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials, possibly due to TRAIL-resistance of primary cancers and its inherent short half-life. Here we introduce drug delivery approaches to maximize in vivo potency of TRAIL in TRAIL-resistant tumor xenografts by (1) extending the half-life of the ligand with PEGylated TRAIL (TRAILPEG) and (2) concentrating a TRAIL sensitizer, selected from in vitro screening, in tumors via tumor-homing nanoparticles. Antitumor efficacy of TRAILPEG with tumor-homing sensitizer was evaluated in HCT116 and HT-29 colon xenografts. Western blot, real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and cell viability assays were employed to investigate mechanisms of action and antitumor efficacy of the combination. We discovered that doxorubicin (DOX) sensitizes TRAIL-resistant HT-29 colon cancer cells to TRAIL by upregulating mRNA expression of DR5 by 60% in vitro. Intravenously administered free DOX does not effectively upregulate DR5 in tumor tissues nor demonstrate synergy with TRAILPEG in HT-29 xenografts, but rather introduces significant systemic toxicity. Alternatively, when DOX was encapsulated in hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles (HAC/DOX) and intravenously administered with TRAILPEG, DR-mediated apoptosis was potentiated in HT-29 tumors by upregulating DR5 protein expression by 70% and initiating both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways with reduced systemic toxicity compared to HAC/DOX or free DOX combined with TRAILPEG (80% vs. 40% survival rate; 75% vs. 34% tumor growth inhibition). This study demonstrates a unique approach to overcome TRAIL-based therapy drawbacks using sequential administration of a tumor-homing TRAIL sensitizer and long-acting TRAILPEG.