Inhibition of N-myc expression sensitizes human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells expressing caspase-8 to TRAIL.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:This study aims to explore the roles of N-myc and caspase-8 in TRAIL-resistant IMR-32 cells which exhibit MYCN oncogene amplification and lack caspase-8 expression. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We established N-myc-downregulated IMR-32 cells using shRNA lentiviral particles targeting N-myc and examined the effect the N-myc inhibition on TRAIL susceptibility in human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells expressing caspase-8. RESULTS:Cisplatin treatment in IMR-32 cells increased the expression of death receptor 5 (DR5; TRAIL-R2), but not other receptors, via downregulation of NF-?B activity. However, the cisplatin-mediated increase in DR5 failed to induce cell death following TRAIL treatment. Furthermore, interferon (IFN)-? pretreatment increased caspase-8 expression in IMR-32 cells, but cisplatin failed to trigger TRAIL cytotoxicity. We downregulated N-myc expression in IMR-32 cells using N-myc-targeting shRNA. These cells showed decreased growth rate and Bcl-2 expression accompanied by a mild collapse in the mitochondrial membrane potential as compared with those treated with scrambled shRNA. TRAIL treatment in N-myc-negative cells expressing caspase-8 following IFN-? treatment significantly triggered apoptotic cell death. Concurrent treatment with cisplatin enhanced TRAIL-mediated cytotoxicity, which was abrogated by an additional pretreatment with DR5:Fc chimera protein. CONCLUSIONS:N-myc and caspase-8 expressions are involved in TRAIL susceptibility in IMR-32 cells, and the combination of treatment with cisplatin and TRAIL may serve as a promising strategy for the development of therapeutics against neuroblastoma that is controlled by N-myc and caspase-8 expression.
Project description:Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is characterized by hepatic steatosis, elevated levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFA), endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and hepatocyte lipoapoptosis. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptor 5 (DR5) is significantly elevated in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and steatotic hepatocytes demonstrate increased sensitivity to TRAIL-mediated cell death. Nonetheless, a role for TRAIL and/or DR5 in mediating lipoapoptotic pathways is unexplored. Here, we examined the contribution of DR5 death signaling to lipoapoptosis by free fatty acids. The toxic saturated free fatty acid palmitate induces an increase in DR5 mRNA and protein expression in Huh-7 human hepatoma cells leading to DR5 localization into lipid rafts, cell surface receptor clustering with subsequent recruitment of the initiator caspase-8, and ultimately cellular demise. Lipoapoptosis by palmitate was not inhibited by a soluble human recombinant DR5-Fc chimera protein suggesting that DR5 cytotoxic signaling is ligand-independent. Hepatocytes from murine TRAIL receptor knock-out mice (DR(-/-)) displayed reduced palmitate-mediated lipotoxicity. Likewise, knockdown of DR5 or caspase-8 expression by shRNA technology attenuated palmitate-induced Bax activation and apoptosis in Huh-7 cells, without altering induction of ER stress markers. Similar observations were verified in other cell models. Finally, knockdown of CHOP, an ER stress-mediated transcription factor, reduced DR5 up-regulation and DR5-mediated caspase-8 activation upon palmitate treatment. Collectively, these results suggest that ER stress-induced CHOP activation by palmitate transcriptionally up-regulates DR5, likely resulting in ligand-independent cytotoxic signaling by this death receptor.
Project description:Disulfide bond-disrupting agents (DDAs) are a new chemical class of agents recently shown to have activity against breast tumors in animal models. Blockade of tumor growth is associated with downregulation of EGFR, HER2, and HER3 and reduced Akt phosphorylation, as well as the induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress. However, it is not known how DDAs trigger cancer cell death without affecting nontransformed cells. As demonstrated here, DDAs are the first compounds identified that upregulate the TRAIL receptor DR5 through transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms to activate the extrinsic cell death pathway. At the protein level, DDAs alter DR5 disulfide bonding to increase steady-state DR5 levels and oligomerization, leading to downstream caspase 8 and 3 activation. DDAs and TRAIL synergize to kill cancer cells and are cytotoxic to HER2+ cancer cells with acquired resistance to the EGFR/HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor Lapatinib. Investigation of the mechanisms responsible for DDA selectivity for cancer cells reveals that DDA-induced upregulation of DR5 is enhanced in the context of EGFR overexpression. DDA-induced cytotoxicity is strongly amplified by MYC overexpression. This is consistent with the known potentiation of TRAIL-mediated cell death by MYC. Together, the results demonstrate selective DDA lethality against oncogene-transformed cells, DDA-mediated DR5 upregulation, and protein stabilization, and that DDAs have activity against drug-resistant cancer cells. Our results indicate that DDAs are unique in causing DR5 accumulation and oligomerization and inducing downstream caspase activation and cancer cell death through mechanisms involving altered DR5 disulfide bonding. DDAs thus represent a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To investigate the mechanism of lentiviral vector carrying methioninase enhances the sensitivity of drug-resistant gastric cancer cells to Cisplatin. METHODS:Death receptors, anti-apoptotic protein, NF-κB, and TRAIL pathway-related factors were detected. The influence of LV-METase transfection on cell viability and pathway-related proteins were assessed by MTT method and western blot, respectively. Different treatments (NF-κB or caspase-3 inhibitor induction, TRAIL supplement, etc.) were performed in gastric cancer cells and the above parameters were analysed. Moreover, the connection between miR-21 and NF-κB or caspase-8 was determined by Chip and luciferase assay, respectively. LV-METase transfection drug-resistant gastric cancer cells were injected subcutaneously into mice. RESULTS:The expression of free MET, miR-21-5p, MDR1, P-gp, and DR5 was significantly increased in drug-resistant gastric cancer cell lines. When cells were transfected with LV-METase, intracellular TRAIL signalling was activated while NF-κB pathway was inhibited. Besides, enhanced TRAIL signalling or repressed NF-κB pathway can promote the sensitivity of drug-resistant strains to Cisplatin, and the combination shows more sensitive to sensitisation. LV-METase promoted TRAIL expression by reducing NF-κB, thereby contributing to the downregulation of P-gp and enhancing the susceptibility of drug-resistant gastric cancer cells to Cisplatin. Furthermore, miR-21 regulated by NF-κB mediated the expression of P-gp protein via inhibiting caspase-8, thus regulating Cisplatin-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that LV-METase has potential as a therapeutic agent for gastric cancer treatment.
Project description:Ubiquitination of caspase-8 regulates TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) sensitivity in cancer cells, and the preligand assembly complex plays a role in caspase-8 polyubiquitination. However, whether such a complex exists in gastric cancer cells and its role in TRAIL-triggered apoptosis is unclear. In this study, DR5, casitas B-lineage lymphoma-b (Cbl-b)/c-Cbl, and TRAF2 formed a complex in TRAIL-resistant gastric cancer cells, and Cbl-b and c-Cbl were the critical adaptors linking DR5 and TRAF2. Treatment with TRAIL induced caspase-8 translocation into the DR5-Cbl-b/c-Cbl-TRAF2 complex to interact with TRAF2, which then mediated the K48-linked polyubiquitination of caspase-8. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib markedly enriched the p43/41 products of caspase-8 activated by TRAIL, indicating proteasomal degradation of caspase-8. Moreover, TRAF2 knockdown prevented the polyubiquitination of caspase-8 and thus increased TRAIL sensitivity. In addition, the inhibition of Cbl-b or c-Cbl expression and overexpression of miR-141 targeting Cbl-b and c-Cbl partially reversed TRAIL resistance by inhibiting the interaction between TRAF2 and caspase-8 and the subsequent polyubiquitination of caspase-8. These results indicate that the DR5-Cbl-b/c-Cbl-TRAF2 complex inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis by promoting TRAF2-mediated polyubiquitination of caspase-8 in gastric cancer cells.
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: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-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-1?-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:To understand the role of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2alpha in regulating sensitivity of renal cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis, we transfected wild-type and mutant von Hippel Lindau (VHL) proteins into TRAIL-sensitive, VHL-negative A498 cells. We find that wild-type VHL, but not the VHL mutants S65W and C162F that do not degrade HIF proteins, cause TRAIL resistance. Knock down of the HIF-2alpha protein by RNA interference (short hairpin RNA) blocked TRAIL-induced apoptosis, decreased the level of TRAIL receptor (DR5) protein and inhibited the transcription of DR5 messenger RNA. By using luciferase constructs containing the upstream region of the DR5 promoter, we demonstrate that HIF-2alpha stimulates the transcription of the DR5 gene by activating the upstream region between -448 and -1188. Because HIF-2alpha is thought to exert its effect on gene transcription by interacting with the Max protein partner of Myc in the Myc/Max dimer, small interfering RNAs to Myc were used to lower the levels of this protein. In multiple renal cancer cell lines decreasing the levels of Myc blocked the ability of HIF-2alpha to stimulate DR5 transcription. PS-341 (VELCADE, bortezomib), a proteasome inhibitor used to treat human cancer, increases the levels of both HIF-2alpha and c-Myc and elevates the level of DR5 in renal cancer, sensitizing renal cancer cells to TRAIL therapy. Similarly, increasing HIF-2alpha in prostate and lung cancer cell lines increased the levels of DR5. Thus, in renal cancer cell lines expressing HIF-2alpha, this protein plays a role in regulating the levels of the TRAIL receptor DR5.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-induced ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis selectively in cancer cells while sparing normal cells. However, many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced cell death. Here, we report that paxilline, an indole alkaloid from Penicillium paxilli, can sensitize various glioma cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. While treatment with TRAIL alone caused partial processing of caspase-3 to its p20 intermediate in TRAIL-resistant glioma cell lines, co-treatment with TRAIL and subtoxic doses of paxilline caused complete processing of caspase-3 into its active subunits. Paxilline treatment markedly upregulated DR5, a receptor of TRAIL, through a CHOP/GADD153-mediated process. In addition, paxilline treatment markedly downregulated the protein levels of the short form of the cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIPs) and the caspase inhibitor, survivin, through proteasome-mediated degradation. Taken together, these results show that paxilline effectively sensitizes glioma cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by modulating multiple components of the death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathway. Interestingly, paxilline/TRAIL co-treatment did not induce apoptosis in normal astrocytes, nor did it affect the protein levels of CHOP, DR5 or survivin in these cells. Thus, combined treatment regimens involving paxilline and TRAIL may offer an attractive strategy for safely treating resistant gliomas.
Project description:Morniga-G, the Gal-specific black mulberry (Morus nigra) lectin, displays high affinity for T (CD176) and Tn (CD175) antigens, frequently expressed at the cancer cell surface. The effects of Morniga-G were investigated on a Tn-positive leukemic Jurkat cell line. The lectin, used in a concentration range between 5?20 ?g/mL, induced cell death in leukemic Jurkat cells. Microscopic and cytofluorometric analyses indicated that Jurkat cell death was essentially apoptotic, associated with an increase in the ceramide content and a depolarization of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential. This lectin-mediated cell death was inhibited by the pan caspase-inhibitor zVAD. In addition, cleavage of caspases 8, 9, and 3 was observed in Morniga-G-treated Jurkat cells whereas Jurkat cell lines that are deficient in caspase 8?10, caspase 9, or FADD, survived to the lectin-mediated toxicity. Furthermore, in the presence of TRAIL- or DR5-blocking mononoclonal antibodies, Jurkat cells became resistant to Morniga-G, suggesting that the lectin triggers cell death via the TRAIL/DR5 pathway. In silico computer simulations suggest that Morniga-G might facilitate both the DR5 dimerization and the building of TRAIL/DR5 complexes. Finally, upon treatment of Jurkat cells with benzyl-GalNAc, an O-glycosylation inhibitor, a decrease in Tn antigen expression associating with a reduced Morniga-G toxicity, was observed. Taken together, these results suggest that Morniga-G induces the cell death of Tn-positive leukemic cells via concomitant O-glycosylation-, caspase-, and TRAIL/DR5-dependent pathways.