Luminescent Iridium Complex-Peptide Hybrids (IPHs) for Therapeutics of Cancer: Design and Synthesis of IPHs for Detection of Cancer Cells and Induction of Their Necrosis-Type Cell Death.
ABSTRACT: Death receptors (DR4 and DR5) offer attractive targets for cancer treatment because cancer cell death can be induced by apoptotic signal upon binding of death ligands such as tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) with death receptors. Cyclometalated iridium(III) complexes such as fac-Ir(tpy)3 (tpy?=?2-(4-tolyl)pyridine) possess a C3-symmetric structure like TRAIL and exhibit excellent luminescence properties. Therefore, cyclometalated Ir complexes functionalized with DR-binding peptide motifs would be potent TRAIL mimics to detect cancer cells and induce their cell death. In this study, we report on the design and synthesis of C3-symmetric and luminescent Ir complex-peptide hybrids (IPHs), which possess cyclic peptide that had been reported to bind DR5. The results of 27?MHz quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements of DR5 with IPHs and costaining experiments of IPHs and anti-DR5 antibody, suggest that IPHs bind with DR5 and undergo internalization into cytoplasm, possibly via endocytosis. It was also found that IPHs induce slow cell death of these cancer cells in a parallel manner to the DR5 expression level. These results indicate that IPHs may offer a promising tool as artificial luminescent mimics of death ligands to develop a new category of anticancer agents that detect and kill cancer cells.
Project description:TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) mediates apoptosis in cancer cells through death receptors DR4 and DR5 preferring often one receptor over another in the cells expressing both receptors. Receptor selective mutant variants of TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against DR4 and DR5 are highly promising anticancer agents. Here using DR5 specific mutant variant of TRAIL--DR5-B we have demonstrated for the first time that the sensitivity of cancer cells can be shifted from one TRAIL death receptor to another during co-treatment with anticancer drugs. First we have studied the contribution of DR4 and DR5 in HCT116 p53+/+ and HCT116 p53-/- cells and demonstrated that in HCT116 p53+/+ cells the both death receptors are involved in TRAIL-induced cell death while in HCT116 p53-/- cells prevailed DR4 signaling. The expression of death (DR4 and DR5) as well as decoy (DcR1 and DcR2) receptors was upregulated in the both cell lines either by TRAIL or by bortezomib. However, combined treatment of cells with two drugs induced strong time-dependent and p53-independent internalization and further lysosomal degradation of DR4 receptor. Interestingly DR5-B variant of TRAIL which do not bind with DR4 receptor also induced elimination of DR4 from cell surface in combination with bortezomib indicating the ligand-independent mechanism of the receptor internalization. Eliminatory internalization of DR4 resulted in activation of DR5 receptor thus DR4-dependent HCT116 p53-/- cells became highly sensitive to DR5-B in time-dependent manner. Internalization and degradation of DR4 receptor depended on activation of caspases as well as of lysosomal activity as it was completely inhibited by Z-VAD-FMK, E-64 and Baf-A1. In light of our findings, it is important to explore carefully which of the death receptors is active, when sensitizing drugs are combined with agonistic antibodies to the death receptors or receptor selective variants of TRAIL to enhance cancer treatment efficiency.
Project description: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:Death receptors of the TNF family are found on the surface of most cancer cells and their activation typically kills cancer cells through the stimulation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. The endogenous ligand for death receptors 4 and 5 (DR4 and DR5) is TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, TRAIL (Apo2L). As most untransformed cells are not susceptible to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, death receptor activators have emerged as promising cancer therapeutic agents. One strategy to stimulate death receptors in cancer patients is to use soluble human recombinant TRAIL protein, but this agent has limitations of a short half-life and decoy receptor sequestration. Another strategy that attempted to evade decoy receptor sequestration and to provide improved pharmacokinetic properties was to generate DR4 or DR5 agonist antibodies. The resulting monoclonal agonist antibodies overcame the limitations of short half-life and avoided decoy receptor sequestration, but are limited by activating only one of the two death receptors. Here, we describe a DR4 and DR5 dual agonist produced using Surrobody technology that activates both DR4 and DR5 to induce apoptotic death of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and also avoids decoy receptor sequestration. This fully human anti-DR4/DR5 Surrobody displays superior potency to DR4- and DR5-specific antibodies, even when combined with TRAIL-sensitizing proapoptotic agents. Moreover, cancer cells were less likely to acquire resistance to Surrobody than either anti-DR4 or anti-DR5 monospecific antibodies. Taken together, Surrobody shows promising preclinical proapoptotic activity against cancer cells, meriting further exploration of its potential as a novel cancer therapeutic agent.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potential anticancer drug that selectively induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells by interacting with death receptors DR4 and DR5. TRAIL can also bind to decoy receptors (DcR1, DcR2, and osteoprotegerin receptor) that cannot induce apoptosis. The occurrence of DR5-responsive tumor cells indicates that a DR5 receptor-specific TRAIL variant will permit tumor-selective therapies. By using the automatic design algorithm FOLD-X, we successfully generated DR5-selective TRAIL variants. These variants do not induce apoptosis in DR4-responsive cell lines but show a large increase in biological activity in DR5-responsive cancer cell lines. Even wild-type TRAIL-insensitive ovarian cancer cell lines could be brought into apoptosis. In addition, our results demonstrate that there is no requirement for antibody-mediated cross-linking or membrane-bound TRAIL to induce apoptosis through DR5.
Project description:Although tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has shown efficacy in a phase 2 clinical trial, development of resistance to TRAIL by tumor cells is a major roadblock. We investigated whether quercetin, a flavonoid, can sensitize human ovarian cancer cells to TRAIL. Results indicate that quercetin sensitized cancer cells to TRAIL. The quercetin induced expression of death receptor DR5 but did not affect expression of DR4 in cancer cells. The induction of DR5 was mediated through activation of JNK and through upregulation of a transcription factor CCAAT enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP); as silencing of these signaling molecules abrogated the effect of quercetin. Upregulation of DR5 was mediated through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as ROS scavengers reduced the effect of quercetin on JNK activation, CHOP upregulation, DR induction, TRAIL sensitization, downregulated the expression of cell survival proteins and upregulated the proapoptotic proteins. Furthermore, quercetin enhances TRAIL mediated inhibition of tumor growth of human SKOV-3 xenograft was associated with induction of apoptosis, activation of caspase-3, CHOP and DR5. Overall, our data suggest that quercetin enhances apoptotic death of ovarian cancer cells to TRAIL through upregulation of CHOP-induced DR5 expression following ROS mediated endoplasmic reticulum-stress.
Project description:Recombinant TRAIL and agonistic antibodies to death receptors (DRs) have been in clinical trial but displayed limited anti-cancer efficacy. Lack of functional DR expression in tumors is a major limiting factor. We report here that chromatin regulator KDM4A/JMJD2A, not KDM4B, has a pivotal role in silencing tumor cell expression of both TRAIL and its receptor DR5. In TRAIL-sensitive and -resistant cancer cells of lung, breast and prostate, KDM4A small-molecule inhibitor compound-4 (C-4) or gene silencing strongly induces TRAIL and DR5 expression, and causes TRAIL-dependent apoptotic cell death. KDM4A inhibition also strongly sensitizes cells to TRAIL. C-4 alone potently inhibits tumor growth with marked induction of TRAIL and DR5 expression in the treated tumors and effectively sensitizes them to the newly developed TRAIL-inducer ONC201. Mechanistically, C-4 does not appear to act through the Akt-ERK-FOXO3a pathway. Instead, it switches histone modifying enzyme complexes at promoters of TRAIL and DR5 transcriptional activator CHOP gene by dissociating KDM4A and nuclear receptor corepressor (NCoR)-HDAC complex and inducing the recruitment of histone acetylase CBP. Thus, our results reveal KDM4A as a key epigenetic silencer of TRAIL and DR5 in tumors and establish inhibitors of KDM4A as a novel strategy for effectively sensitizing tumors to TRAIL pathway-based therapeutics.
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:DR4 (Death Receptor 4) and DR5 (Death Receptor 5) are two potential targets for cancer therapy due to their ability to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells, but not normal ones, when activated by their cognate ligand TRAIL (TNF related apoptosis-inducing ligand). Therapies based on soluble recombinant TRAIL or agonist antibodies directed against one of the receptors are currently under clinical trials. However, TRAIL-R positive tumor cells are frequently resistant to TRAIL induced apoptosis. The precise mechanisms of this resistance are still not entirely understood. We have previously reported on synthetic peptides that bind to DR5 (TRAILmim/DR5) and induce tumor cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Here, we showed that while hexameric soluble TRAIL is able to efficiently kill the DR5 positive lymphoma Jurkat or the carcinoma HCT116, these cells are resistant to apoptosis induced by the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 and are poorly sensitive to apoptosis induced by an anti-DR5 agonist monoclonal antibody. This resistance can be restored by the cross-linking of anti-DR5 agonist antibody but not by the cross-linking of the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5. Interestingly, the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 that induced apoptosis of DR5 positive BJAB cells, acts as an inhibitor of TRAIL-induced apoptosis on Jurkat and HCT116 cells. The rapid internalization of DR5 observed when treated with divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 could explain the antagonist activity of the ligand on Jurkat and HCT116 cells but also highlights the independence of the mechanisms responsible for internalization and activation when triggering the DR5 apoptotic cascade.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anticancer agent for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Forced expression of CHOP, one of the key downstream transcription factors during endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, upregulates the death receptor 5 (DR5) levels and promotes oxidative stress and cell death. In this study, we show that ER stress mediated by thapsigargin promoted CHOP and DR5 synthesis thus sensitizing TRAIL treatment, which induced ESCC cells apoptosis. These effects were reversed by DR5 siRNA in vitro and CHOP siRNA both in vitro and in vivo. Besides, chemically inhibition of AMPK by Compound C and AMPK siRNA weakened the anti-cancer effect of thapsigargin and TRAIL co-treatment. Therefore, our findings suggest ER stress effectively sensitizes human ESCC to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis via the TRAIL-DR5-AMPK signaling pathway, and that activation of ER stress may be beneficial for improving the efficacy of TRAIL-based anti-cancer therapy.
Project description:It is well known that tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand receptor 1 or 2 (DR4/DR5) is specifically expressed in various tumor cells, but less or no expression in most normal cells. Many first generations of TRAIL agonists including recombinant preparations of TRAIL, agonistic antibodies against DR4/DR5 have been developed in phase I/II clinical trials for cancer therapy. However, the outcomes of clinical trials by using DR4/DR5 agonist mono-therapy were disappointed even though the safety profile was well tolerance. In the present study, we report an anti-DR5 antibody-drug conjugate (ADC, named as Zapadcine-1) possesses a higher potential for the therapy of lymphocyte leukemia and solid cancers. <b>Methods:</b> Zapadcine-1 was made by a fully humanized DR5-specific monoclonal antibody (Zaptuzumab) coupled via a cleavable linker to a highly toxic inhibitor of tubulin, monomethyl auristatin D (MMAD), by using ThioBridge technology. Cytotoxicity of the ADC in various tumor cells was identified by luminescent cell viability assay and the efficacy <i>in vivo</i> was determined in cells derived xenografts (CDX) of Jurkat E6-1, BALL-1, Reh, and patient derived xenografts (PDX) of human acute leukemia. Preliminary safety evaluation was carried out in rat and monkey. <b>Results:</b> Zapadcine-1 possesses a similar binding ability to the death receptor DR5 as the naked monoclonal antibody Zaptuzumab, and can be rapidly endocytosed into the lysosome of cancer cells. Zapadcine-1 specifically kills human lymphocyte leukemia cells and solid tumor cells, but not normal cells tested. More importantly, Zapadcine-1 drastically eliminates the xenografts in both CDX and PDX models of human acute leukemia. The excellent and comparable therapeutic efficacy is also observed in lung cancer NCI-H1975 CDX mouse model. The maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of single injected Zapadcine-1 in rat and cynomolgus monkey shows an acceptable safety profile. <b>Conclusion:</b> These data demonstrate a promising anti-cancer activity, meriting further exploration of its potential as a novel cancer therapeutic agent, especially for the acute lymphocyte leukemia.