TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand or Apo2L (Apo2L/TRAIL) is a promising anti-cancer drug owing to its ability to trigger apoptosis by binding to TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2, two membrane-bound receptors that are often expressed by tumor cells. TRAIL can also bind non-functional receptors such as TRAIL-R4, but controversies still exist regarding their potential to inhibit TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We show here that TRAIL-R4, expressed either endogenously or ectopically, inhibits TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, the combination of chemotherapeutic drugs with TRAIL restores tumor cell sensitivity to apoptosis in TRAIL-R4-expressing cells. This sensitization, which mainly occurs at the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) level, through enhanced caspase-8 recruitment and activation, is compromised by c-FLIP expression and is independent of the mitochondria. Importantly, TRAIL-R4 expression prevents TRAIL-induced tumor regression in nude mice, but tumor regression induced by TRAIL can be restored with chemotherapy. Our results clearly support a negative regulatory function for TRAIL-R4 in controlling TRAIL signaling, and unveil the ability of TRAIL-R4 to cooperate with c-FLIP to inhibit TRAIL-induced cell death.
TRAIL; TRAIL-R4; c-FLIP; chemotherapy; apoptosis
Members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily and their activating ligands transmit apoptotic signals in a variety of systems. We now show that the binding of TNF-related, apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to its cellular receptors DR5 (TRAILR2) and DR4 (TRAILR1) mediates reovirus-induced apoptosis. Anti-TRAIL antibody and soluble TRAIL receptors block reovirus-induced apoptosis by preventing TRAIL-receptor binding. In addition, reovirus induces both TRAIL release and an increase in the expression of DR5 and DR4 in infected cells. Reovirus-induced apoptosis is also blocked following inhibition of the death receptor-associated, apoptosis-inducing molecules FADD (for FAS-associated death domain) and caspase 8. We propose that reovirus infection promotes apoptosis via the expression of DR5 and the release of TRAIL from infected cells. Virus-induced regulation of the TRAIL apoptotic pathway defines a novel mechanism for virus-induced apoptosis.
Although signaling by death receptors involves the recruitment of common components into their death-inducing signaling complexes (DISCs), apoptosis susceptibility of various tumor cells to each individual receptor differs quite dramatically. Recently it was shown that, besides caspase-8, caspase-10 is also recruited to the DISCs, but its function in death receptor signaling remains unknown. Here we show that expression of caspase-10 sensitizes MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells to TRAIL- but not tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced apoptosis. This sensitization is most obvious at low TRAIL concentrations or when apoptosis is assessed at early time points. Caspase-10-mediated sensitization for TRAIL-induced apoptosis appears to be dependent on caspase-3, as expression of caspase-10 in MCF-7/casp-3 cells but not in caspase-3-deficient MCF-7 cells overcomes TRAIL resistance. Interestingly, neutralization of TRAIL receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2), but not TRAIL-R1, impaired apoptosis in a caspase-10-dependent manner, indicating that caspase-10 enhances TRAIL-R2-induced cell death. Furthermore, whereas processing of caspase-10 was delayed in TNF-treated cells, TRAIL triggered a very rapid activation of caspase-10 and -3. Therefore, we propose a model in which caspase-10 is a crucial component during TRAIL-mediated apoptosis that in addition actively requires caspase-3. This might be especially important in systems where only low TRAIL concentrations are supplied that are not sufficient for the fast recruitment of caspase-8 to the DISC.
TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/Apo2L) is a major cytotoxic mechanism employed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and natural killer (NK) cells to eradicate malignant cells. TRAIL/Apo2L interacts with its cognate receptors located on tumor cell surface namely, TRAIL-R1 (DR4), TRAIL-R2 (DR5), TRAIL-R3 (DcR1), TRAIL-R4 (DcR2) and osteoprotegerin (OPG). The exact function of DcR1 and DcR2 remains elusive. TRAIL/Apo2L or agonistic monoclonal antibodies directed against TRAIL/Apo2L death-inducing receptors (DR4, DR5) have become an attractive immunological therapeutic tools in clinical oncology due to their selective killing of tumors and lack of affinity towards healthy cells. Though a potent anti-cancer modality, some cancer cells exhibit inherent or acquired resistance to TRAIL/Apo2L. Postulated resistance mechanisms include up-regulation of c-FLIP, down-regulation of caspase-8, down-regulation/shedding of death receptors and an imbalanced ratio of pro- to anti-apoptotic genes due to aberrant activity of cellular survival signal transduction pathways. The development of resistance has spurred the use of combination therapy, in particular using small molecule sensitizing agents, to restore apoptosis sensitivity. A novel category of such compounds is histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), which block HDACs from removing acetyl groups from histone tails thereby preventing silencing of pro-apoptotic genes and regulating the expression of non-histone proteins (i.e., apoptosis-associated genes), are effective agents in some malignancies. Some HDACi, such as Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA), have received FDA approval for cancer treatment. In various melanoma preclinical models, HDACi in conjunction with TRAIL/Apo2L, via modulation of apoptotic machinery, have proven to overcome acquired/inherent resistance to either agent. Here, we discuss recent findings on the role of TRAIL/Apo2L and its agonistic mAbs in melanoma immunotherapy with discussions on potential cellular and molecular events by which HDACi can sensitize metastatic melanoma to TRAIL/Apo2L-mediated immune-therapy, thereby, overcoming resistance.
TRAIL/Apop2L; apoptosis; signal transduction; resistance; melanoma; immunotherapy; SAHA; histone deacetylase inhibitor; sensitization; adoptive cell transfer; agonistic TRAIL/Apo2L mAbs; monoclonal antibody; drozitumab; gene regulation
Tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/Apo2 L) preferentially induces apoptosis in human tumor cells through its cognate death receptors DR4 or DR5, thereby being investigated as a potential agent for cancer therapy. Here, we applied fully human anti-human TRAIL receptor monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to specifically target one of death receptors for TRAIL in human glioma cells, which could also reduce potential TRAIL-induced toxicity in humans. Twelve human glioma cell lines treated with several fully human anti-human TRAIL receptor mAbs were sensitive to only anti-DR5 mAbs, whereas they were totally insensitive to anti-DR4 mAb. Treatment with anti-DR5 mAbs exerted rapid cytotoxicity and lead to apoptosis induction. The cellular sensitivity was closely associated with cell-surface expression of DR5. Expression of c-FLIPL, Akt, and Cyclin D1 significantly correlated with sensitivity to anti-DR5 mAbs. Primary cultures of glioma cells were also relatively resistant to anti-DR5 mAbs, exhibiting both lower DR5 and higher c-FLIPL expression. Downregulation of c-FLIPL expression resulted in the sensitization of human glioma cells to anti-DR5 mAbs, whereas overexpression of c-FLIPL conferred resistance to anti-DR5 mAb. Treatment of tumor-burden nude mice with the direct agonist anti-DR5 mAb KMTR2 significantly suppressed growth of subcutaneous glioma xenografts leading to complete regression. Similarly, treatment of nude mice bearing intracerebral glioma xenografts with KMTR2 significantly elongated lifespan without tumor recurrence. These results suggest that DR5 is the predominant TRAIL receptor mediating apoptotic signals in human glioma cells, and sensitivity to anti-DR5 mAbs was determined at least in part by the expression level of c-FLIPL and Akt. Specific targeting of death receptor pathway through DR5 using fully human mAbs might provide a novel therapeutic strategy for intractable malignant gliomas.
c-FLIPL; glioblastoma; monoclonal antibody; TRAIL; TRAIL-R2/DR5
Here we show a novel mechanism by which FLICE-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) regulates apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and one of its receptors, DR5. c-FLIP is a critical regulator of the TNF family of cytokine receptor signaling. c-FLIP has been postulated to prevent formation of the competent death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) in a ligand-dependent manner, through its interaction with FADD and/or caspase-8. In order to identify regulators of TRAIL function, we used the intracellular death domain (DD) of DR5 as a target to screen a phage-displayed combinatorial peptide library. The DD of DR5 selected from the library a peptide that showed sequence similarity to a stretch of amino acids in the C terminus of c-FLIPL. The phage-displayed peptide selectively interacted with the DD of DR5 in in vitro binding assays. Similarly, full-length c-FLIP (c-FLIPL) and the C-terminal p12 domain of c-FLIP interacted with DR5 both in in vitro pull-down assays and in mammalian cells. This interaction was independent of TRAIL. To the contrary, TRAIL treatment released c-FLIPL from DR5, permitting the recruitment of FADD to the active DR5 signaling complex. By employing FADD-deficient Jurkat cells, we demonstrate that DR5 and c-FLIPL interact in a FADD-independent manner. Moreover, we show that a cellular membrane permeable version of the peptide corresponding to the DR5 binding domain of c-FLIP induces apoptosis in mammalian cells. Taken together, these findings indicate that c-FLIPL interacts with the DD of DR5, thus preventing death signaling by DR5 prior to the formation of an active DISC. Because TRAIL and DR5 are ubiquitously expressed, the interaction of c-FLIPL and DR5 indicates a mechanism by which tumor selective apoptosis can be achieved through protecting normal cells from undergoing death receptor-induced apoptosis.
TRAIL is a member of the TNF superfamily that induces tumor-selective cell death by engaging the pro-apoptotic death receptors DR4 and DR5. The antitumor potential of the TRAIL pathway has been targeted by several therapeutic approaches including recombinant TRAIL and TRAIL-receptor agonist antibodies among others. Interest in sensitizing tumor cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis has driven investigations of TRAIL-receptor gene regulation, though regulation of the TRAIL gene has been less studied. Physiologically, TRAIL serves as a pro-apoptotic effector molecule in the immune surveillance of cancer that is conditionally expressed by immune cells upon stimulation via an interferon-response element that was identified in early studies of the TRAIL gene promoter. Here, we map the TRAIL gene promoter and review studies of TRAIL gene regulation that involve several modalities of gene regulation including transcription factors, epigenetics, single-nucleotide polymorphisms and functionally distinct isoforms.
TRAIL; TNF; DR5; DR4; cell death; apoptosis; gene regulation
Besides inducing apoptosis, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) activates NF-κB. The apoptosis signaling pathway of TRAIL is well characterized involving TRAIL receptors, Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD) and caspase-8. In contrast, the molecular mechanism of TRAIL signaling to NF-κB remains controversial. Here, we characterized the receptor–proximal mediators of NF-κB activation by TRAIL. Deletion of the DD of TRAIL receptors 1 and 2 revealed that it is essential in NF-κB signaling. Because FADD interacts with the TRAIL receptor DD, FADD was tested. RNAi-mediated knockdown of FADD or FADD deficiency in JURKAT T-cell leukemia cells decreased or disabled NF-κB signaling by TRAIL. In contrast, TRAIL-induced activation of NF-κB was maintained upon loss of receptor interacting protein 1 (RIP1) or knockdown of FLICE-like inhibitory protein (FLIP). Exogenous expression of FADD rescued TRAIL-induced NF-κB signaling. Loss-of-function mutations of FADD within the RHDLL motif of the death effector domain, which is required for TRAIL-induced apoptosis, abrogated FADD's ability to recruit caspase-8 and mediate NF-κB activation. Accordingly, deficiency of caspase-8 inhibited TRAIL-induced activation of NF-κB, which was rescued by wild-type caspase-8, but not by a catalytically inactive caspase-8 mutant. These data establish the mechanism of TRAIL-induced NF-κB activation involving the TRAIL receptor DD, FADD and caspase-8, but not RIP1 or FLIP. Our results show that signaling of TRAIL-induced apoptosis and NF-κB bifurcates downstream of caspase-8.
NF-κB; death receptor; signaling; DISC; p65
To explore the molecular mechanisms by which glioblastomas are resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), we examined TRAIL signaling pathways in the tumors. TRAIL has four membrane-anchored receptors, death receptor 4/5 (DR4/5) and decoy receptor 1/2 (DcR1/2). Of these receptors, only DR5 was expressed consistently in glioblastoma cell lines and tumor tissues, ruling out the role of DcR1/2 in TRAIL resistance. Upon TRAIL binding, DR5 was homotrimerized and recruited Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and caspase-8 for the assembly of death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) in the lipid rafts of plasma membrane. In the DISC, caspase-8 was cleaved and initiated apoptosis by cleaving downstream caspases in TRAIL-sensitive glioblastoma cells. In TRAIL-resistant cells, however, DR5-mediated DISC was modified by receptor-interacting protein (RIP), cellular FADD-like interleukin-1β-converting enzyme-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) and phosphoprotein enriched in diabetes or in astrocyte-15 (PED/PEA-15). This DISC modification occurred in the non-raft fractions of plasma membrane and resulted in the inhibition of caspase-8 cleavage and the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Treatment of resistant cells with parthenolide, an inhibitor of inhibitor of κB (I-κB) eliminated TRAIL-induced NF-κB activity but not TRAIL resistance. In contrast, however, targeting of either RIP, c-FLIP or PED/PEA-15 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) led to the redistribution of the DISC from non-rafts to lipid rafts and eliminated the inhibition of caspase-8 cleavage and thereby the TRAIL resistance. Taken together, this study indicates that the DISC modification by RIP, c-FLIP and PED/PEA-15 is the most upstream event in TRAIL resistance in glioblastomas.
glioblastoma; apoptosis; caspase-8; DR5; TRAIL
Berberine (BBR) has been used for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections and also for cancer-associated symptoms such as diarrhea. Furthermore, it has been reported that BBR may have direct antitumor effects. Although evidence supports the theory that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising candidate for treating cancer, its usage may be limited due to the resistance to the TRAIL-induced apoptosis of cancer cells. In the present study, the effect of BBR on TRAIL-induced antitumor effects was investigated in vitro using recombinant TRAIL and in vivo using a 4T1 murine breast cancer model in combination with anti-DR5 (death-inducing TRAIL receptor) monoclonal antibody therapy. BBR sensitized human breast cancer cell lines to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in vitro. The combination of BBR and recombinant TRAIL significantly activated caspase-3 and PARP cleavage in TRAIL-resistant MDA-MB-468 cells. Furthermore, BBR in combination with TRAIL more effectively induced apoptosis compared with coptisine (COP), which is structurally related to BBR. In a murine 4T1 breast cancer model, BBR treatment enhanced the efficacy of anti-DR5 antibody therapy against primary tumor growth and lung metastasis. Thus, BBR may become a new adjuvant for overcoming the resistance of cancer cells to TRAIL/DR5-mediated therapy.
breast cancer; berberine; coptisine; TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand; apoptosis
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world; death usually results from uncontrolled metastatic disease. Previously, we developed a novel strategy of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) in combination with hyperthermia to treat hepatic colorectal metastases. However, previous studies suggest a potential hepatocyte cytotoxicity with TRAIL. Unlike TRAIL, anti-human TRAIL receptor antibody induces apoptosis without hepatocyte toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of humanized anti-death receptor 4 (DR4) antibody mapatumumab (Mapa) by comparing it with TRAIL in combination with hyperthermia. TRAIL, which binds to both DR4 and death receptor 5 (DR5), was approximately 10-fold more effective than Mapa in inducing apoptosis. However, hyperthermia enhances apoptosis induced by either agent. We observed that the synergistic effect was mediated through elevation of reactive oxygen species, c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation, Bax oligomerization and translocalization to the mitochondria, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c to cytosol, activation of caspases and increase in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. We believe that the successful outcome of this study will support the application of Mapa in combination with hyperthermia to colorectal hepatic metastases.
Hyperthermia; TRAIL; Mapatumumab; Apoptosis; ROS; JNK; Bax; Cytochrome c; PARP
Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) is potentially a very important therapeutic as it shows selectivity for inducing apoptosis in cancer cells whilst normal cells are refractory. TRAIL binding to its cognate receptors, Death Receptors-4 and -5, leads to recruitment of caspase-8 and classical activation of downstream effector caspases, leading to apoptosis. As with many drugs however, TRAIL's usefulness is limited by resistance, either innate or acquired. We describe here the development of a novel 384-well high-throughput screening (HTS) strategy for identifying potential TRAIL-sensitizing agents that act solely in a caspase-8 dependent manner. By utilizing a TRAIL resistant cell line lacking caspase-8 (NB7) compared to the same cells reconstituted with the wild-type protein, or with a catalytically inactive point mutant of caspase-8, we are able to identify compounds that act specifically through the caspase-8 axis, rather than through general toxicity. In addition, false positive hits can easily be “weeded out” in this assay due to their activity in cells lacking caspase-8-inducible activity. Screening of the library of pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC) was performed as both proof-of-concept and to discover potential unknown TRAIL sensitizers whose mechanism is caspase-8 mediated. We identified known TRAIL sensitizers from the library and identified new compounds that appear to sensitize specifically through caspase-8. In sum, we demonstrate proof-of-concept and discovery of novel compounds with a screening strategy optimized for the detection of caspase-8 pathway-specific TRAIL sensitizers. This screen was performed in the 384-well format, but could easily be further miniaturized, allows easy identification of artifactual false positives, and is highly scalable to accommodate diverse libraries.
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis and preferentially kills tumor cells by engaging specific glycosylated death receptors, resulting in the internalization of ligand/receptor complexes and recruitment of the initiator caspase-8 to an activation platform known as the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). However, emergence of TRAIL-resistant sub-populations may contribute to therapeutic failure. To investigate resistance mechanisms, we isolated a stable TRAIL-resistant sub-population of the metastatic colon cancer cell line LS-LIM6, designated LIM6-TR. LIM6-TR cells are impaired in endocytosis of TRAIL/death receptors complexes and failed to recruit/activate caspase-8 to the DISC upon TRAIL stimulation. Differential activation of Wnt and JNK pathways is not responsible for acquisition of TRAIL resistance. LIM6-TR cells display a marked increase in cell-surface expression of galectin-3, an endogenous lectin, which co-localizes with and binds death receptors. Silencing of galectin-3 restores TRAIL sensitivity and promotes TRAIL-mediated endocytosis of TRAIL/death receptors complexes. Inhibitors of galectin-3 and glycosylation also re-sensitize LIM6-TR to TRAIL and restore internalization of ligand/receptors complexes. These studies identify a novel TRAIL-resistance mechanism in which galectin-3 impedes trafficking of death receptor by anchoring them in glycan nano-clusters, blocking the execution of the apoptosis signal.
galectin-3; TRAIL; apoptosis; colon cancer
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising cancer therapeutic agent with cancer-selective apoptogenic activity. It evokes the canonical caspase-mediated cell death pathway through death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formation. We identified that Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prx6) interacts with caspase-10 and caspase-8 via the death effector domain (DED). Prx6 suppresses TRAIL-mediated cell death in human cancer cells, but not that induced by intrinsic apoptosis inducers such as etoposide, staurosporine, or A23187. Among Prx1–6 members, only Prx6 binds to DED caspases and is most effective in suppressing TRAIL or DED caspase-induced cell death. The antiapoptotic activity of Prx6 against TRAIL is not likely associated with its peroxidase activity but is associated with its ability to bind to DED caspases. Increased expression of Prx6 enhances the binding of Prx6 to caspase-10 but reduces TRAIL-induced DISC formation and subsequently caspase activation. Interestingly, Prx6 is highly upregulated in metastatic gastric cancer cells, which are relatively resistant to TRAIL as compared with primary cancer cells. Downregulation of Prx6 sensitizes the metastatic cancer cells to TRAIL-induced cell death. Taken together, these results suggest that Prx6 modulates TRAIL signaling as a negative regulator of caspase-8 and caspase-10 in DISC formation of TRAIL-resistant metastatic cancer cells.
peroxiredoxin 6; caspase-10; caspase-8; TRAIL; DISC; metastasis suppressor
Caspase-8 is a key initiator of death receptor-induced apoptosis. Here we report a novel short isoform of caspase-8 (caspase-8s), which encodes the first (Death Effector Domain) DED and part of the second DED, missing the C-terminal caspase domain. In vivo binding assays showed that transfected caspase-8s bound to (Fas-associated death domain protein) FADD, the adaptor protein in (death-induced signal complex) DISC. To investigate the potential effects of caspase-8s on cell apoptosis, Jurkat cells were stably transfected with caspase-8s. Overexpression of caspase-8s increased sensitivity to the apoptotic stimuli, Fas-agonistic antibody CH11. These results suggest that caspase-8s may act as a promoter of apoptosis through binding to FADD and is involved in the regulation of apoptosis. In addition, the results also indicate that the first DED was an important structure mediating combination between caspase-8 and FADD.
The incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is associated with exposure to asbestos, and projections suggest that the yearly number of deaths in Western Europe due to MPM will increase until 2020. Despite progress in chemo- and in multimodality therapy, MPM remains a disease with a poor prognosis. Inducing apoptosis by tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) or agonistic monoclonal antibodies which target TRAIL-receptor 1 (TRAIL-R1) or TRAIL-R2 has been thought to be a promising cancer therapy.
We have compared the sensitivity of 13 MPM cell lines or primary cultures to TRAIL and two fully human agonistic monoclonal antibodies directed to TRAIL-R1 (Mapatumumab) and TRAIL-R2 (Lexatumumab) and examined sensitization of the MPM cell lines to cisplatin-induced by the TRAIL-receptor antibodies. We found that sensitivity of MPM cells to TRAIL, Mapatumumab and Lexatumumab varies largely and is independent of TRAIL-receptor expression. TRAIL-R2 contributes more than TRAIL-R1 to death-receptor mediated apoptosis in MPM cells that express both receptors. The combination of cisplatin with Mapatumumab or Lexatumumab synergistically inhibited the cell growth and enhanced apoptotic death. Furthermore, pre-treatment with cisplatin followed by Mapatumumab or Lexatumumab resulted in significant higher cytotoxic effects as compared to the reverse sequence. Combination-induced cell growth inhibition was significantly abrogated by pre-treatment of the cells with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine.
Our results suggest that the sequential administration of cisplatin followed by Mapatumumab or Lexatumumab deserves investigation in the treatment of patients with MPM.
TRAIL induces apoptosis and preferentially kills tumor cells by engaging specific glycosylated death receptors resulting in the internalization of ligand-receptor complexes and recruitment of the initiator caspase-8 to an activation platform known as the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). However, emergence of TRAIL-resistant sub-populations may contribute to therapeutic failure. To investigate resistance mechanisms we isolated a stable TRAIL-resistant sub-population of the metastatic colon cancer cell line LS-LIM6, designated LIM6-TR. LIM6-TR cells are impaired in endocytosis of TRAIL-death receptors complexes and failed to recruit/activate caspase-8 to the DISC upon TRAIL stimulation. Differential activation of Wnt and JNK pathways is not responsible for acquisition of TRAIL-resistance. LIM6-TR cells display a marked increase in cell-surface expression of galectin-3, an endogenous lectin, which co-localizes with and binds death receptors. Silencing of galectin-3 restores TRAIL-sensitivity and promotes TRAIL-mediated endocytosis of TRAIL-death receptors complexes. Inhibitors of galectin-3 and glycosylation also re-sensitize LIM6-TR to TRAIL and restore internalization of ligand-receptors complexes. These studies identify a novel TRAIL-resistance mechanism in which galectin-3 impedes trafficking of death receptor by anchoring them in glycan nano-clusters, blocking the execution of the apoptosis signal.
Galectin-3; TRAIL; apoptosis; colon cancer
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL), a member of the TNF superfamily, interacts with its functional death receptors (DRs) and induces apoptosis in a wide range of cancer cell types. Therefore, TRAIL has been considered as an attractive agent for cancer therapy. However, many cancers are resistant to TRAIL-based therapies mainly due to the reduced expression of DRs and/or up-regulation of TRAIL pathway-related anti-apoptotic proteins. Compounds that revert such defects restore the sensitivity of cancer cells to TRAIL, suggesting that combined therapies could help manage neoplastic patients. In this article, we will focus on the TRAIL-sensitizing effects of natural products and synthetic compounds in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and discuss the molecular mechanisms by which such agents enhance the response of CRC cells to TRAIL.
DR4; DR5; caspase-8; p53; CHOP; survivin; extrinsic pathway; intrinsic pathway; chemotherapeutics; natural products
Apo2L/TRAIL is a promising anti-cancer drug owing to its ability to trigger apoptosis by binding to TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2, two membrane bound receptors that are often expressed by tumor cells. TRAIL can also bind non-functional receptors such as TRAIL-R4, but controversies still exist regarding their potential to inhibit TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
We show here that TRAIL-R4, expressed either endogenously or ectopically, inhibits TRAIL induced apoptosis. Interestingly, the combination of chemotherapeutic drugs with TRAIL restores tumor cell sensitivity to apoptosis in TRAIL-R4 expressing cells. This sensitization, which mainly occurs at the DISC level, through enhanced caspase-8 recruitment and activation, is compromised by c-FLIP expression and is independent of the mitochondria.
Importantly, TRAIL-R4 expression prevents TRAIL-induced tumor regression in nude mice, but tumor regression induced by TRAIL can be restored with chemotherapy.
Our results clearly support a negative regulatory function for TRAIL-R4 in controlling TRAIL signaling, and unveil TRAIL-R4’s ability to cooperate with c-FLIP to inhibit TRAIL-induced cell death.
TRAIL; chemotherapy; cancer
Among the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family of cytokines, FasL and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) are known to induce cell death via caspase activation. Recently, other biological functions of these death ligands have been postulated in vitro and in vivo. It was previously shown that Fas ligation induces chemokine expression in human glioma cells. In this study, we investigated whether the TRAIL-DR5 system transduces signals similar to those induced by other TNF family ligands and receptors. To address this issue, two human glioma cell lines, CRT-MG and U87-MG, were used, and an agonistic antibody against DR5 (TRA-8) and human recombinant TRAIL were used to ligate DR5. We demonstrate that DR5 ligation by either TRAIL or TRA-8 induces two functional outcomes, apoptosis and expression of the chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8); the nonspecific caspase inhibitor Boc-D-Fmk blocks both TRAIL-mediated cell death and IL-8 production; the caspase 3-specific inhibitor z-DEVD-Fmk suppresses TRAIL-mediated apoptosis but not IL-8 induction; caspase 1- and 8-specific inhibitors block both TRAIL-mediated cell death and IL-8 production; and DR5 ligation by TRAIL mediates AP-1 and NF-κB activation, which can be inhibited by caspase 1- and 8-specific inhibitors. These findings collectively indicate that DR5 ligation on human glioma cells leads to apoptosis and that the activation of AP-1 and NF-κB leads to the induction of IL-8 expression; these responses are dependent on caspase activation. Therefore, the TRAIL-DR5 system has a role not only as an inducer of apoptotic cell death but also as a tranducer for proinflammatory and angiogenic signals in human brain tumors.
TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/APO-2L) is a member of the TNF family that promotes apoptosis by binding to the transmembrane receptors TRAIL-R1/DR4 and TRAIL-R2/DR5. Its cytotoxic activity is relatively selective to the human tumor cell lines without much effect on the normal cells. Hence, it exerts an antitumor activity without causing toxicity, as apparent by studies with several xenograft models. This review discusses the intracellular mechanisms by which TRAIL induces apoptosis. The major pathway of its action proceeds through the formation of DISC and activation of caspase-8. The apoptotic processes, therefore, follow two signaling pathways, namely the mitochondrial-independent activation of caspase-3, and mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis due to cleavage of BID by caspase-8, the formation of apoptosomes, and activation of caspase-9 and the downstream caspases. Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL have no effect on TRAIL-induced apoptosis in lymphoid cells, whereas these genes block or delay apoptosis in nonlymphoid cancer cells. TRAIL participates in cytotoxicity mediated by activated NK cells, monocytes, and some cytotoxic T cells. Hence, TRAIL may prove to be an effective antitumor agent. In addition, it may enhance the effectiveness of treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs and irradiation. Nontagged Apo-2L/TRAIL does not cause hepatotoxicity in monkeys and chimpanzees and in normal human hepatocytes. Thus, nontagged Apo-2L/TRAIL appears to be a promising new candidate for use in the treatment of cancer.
TRAIL; death receptor; mitochondria; apoptosis; IAP; caspase
Formation of the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) is a critical step in death receptor-mediated apoptosis, yet the mechanisms underlying assembly of this key multiprotein complex remain unclear. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we have delineated the stoichiometry of the native TRAIL DISC. While current models suggest that core DISC components are present at a ratio of 1:1, our data indicate that FADD is substoichiometric relative to TRAIL-Rs or DED-only proteins; strikingly, there is up to 9-fold more caspase-8 than FADD in the DISC. Using structural modeling, we propose an alternative DISC model in which procaspase-8 molecules interact sequentially, via their DED domains, to form a caspase-activating chain. Mutating key interacting residues in procaspase-8 DED2 abrogates DED chain formation in cells and disrupts TRAIL/CD95 DISC-mediated procaspase-8 activation in a functional DISC reconstitution model. This provides direct experimental evidence for a DISC model in which DED chain assembly drives caspase-8 dimerization/activation, thereby triggering cell death.
► The TRAIL DISC is a soluble >700 kDa complex of TRAIL-Rs, FADD, and DED-only proteins ► LC-MS/MS defines FADD as substoichiometric relative to TRAIL-Rs/DED-only proteins ► Structural modeling reveals that FADD recruits multiple DED-only proteins to the DISC ► We uncover a crucial role for caspase-8 DED chain assembly in triggering cell death
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are emerging as novel cell-based delivery agents; however, a thorough investigation addressing their therapeutic potential in medulloblastomas (MB) has not been explored to date. In this study, we engineered human MSC to express a potent and secretable variant of a tumor specific agent, tumor necrosis factor-apoptosis-inducing ligand (S-TRAIL) and assessed the ability of MSC-S-TRAIL mediated MB killing alone or in combination with a small molecule inhibitor of histone-deacetylase, MS-275, in TRAIL-sensitive and -resistant MB in vitro and in vivo. We show that TRAIL sensitivity/resistance correlates with the expression of its cognate death receptor (DR)5 and MSC-S-TRAIL induces caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in TRAIL-sensitive MB lines. In TRAIL-resistant MB, we show upregulation of DR4/5 levels when pre-treated with MS-275 and a subsequent sensitization to MSC-S-TRAIL mediated apoptosis. Using intracranially implanted MB and MSC lines engineered with different combinations of fluorescent and bioluminescent proteins, we show that MSC-S-TRAIL has significant anti-tumor effects in mice bearing TRAIL-sensitive and MS-275 pre-treated TRAIL-resistant MBs. To our knowledge, this is the first study that explores the use of human MSC as MB-targeting therapeutic-vehicles in vivo in TRAIL-sensitive and resistant tumors, and has implications for developing effective therapies for patients with medulloblastomas.
TRAIL/Apo2L is a pro-apoptotic ligand of the TNF family that engages the apoptotic machinery through two pro-apoptotic receptors, TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2. This cell death program is tightly controlled by two antagonistic receptors, TRAIL-R3 and TRAIL-R4, both devoid of a functional death domain, an intracellular region of the receptor, required for the recruitment and the activation of initiator caspases. Upon TRAIL-binding, TRAIL-R4 forms a heteromeric complex with the agonistic receptor TRAIL-R2 leading to reduced caspase-8 activation and apoptosis.
We provide evidence that TRAIL-R4 can also exhibit, in a ligand independent manner, signaling properties in the cervical carcinoma cell line HeLa, through Akt. Ectopic expression of TRAIL-R4 in HeLa cells induced morphological changes, with cell rounding, loss of adherence and markedly enhanced cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Disruption of the PI3K/Akt pathway using the pharmacological inhibitor LY294002, siRNA targeting the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, or by PTEN over-expression, partially restored TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in these cells. Moreover, the Akt inhibitor, LY294002, restituted normal cell proliferation index in HeLa cells expressing TRAIL-R4.
Altogether, these results indicate that, besides its ability to directly inhibit TRAIL-induced cell death at the membrane, TRAIL-R4 can also trigger the activation of signaling pathways leading to cell survival and proliferation in HeLa cells. Our findings raise the possibility that TRAIL-R4 may contribute to cervical carcinogenesis.
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) exerts potent cytotoxic activity against transformed keratinocytes, whereas primary keratinocytes are relatively resistant. In several cell types, inhibition of the proteasome sensitizes for TRAIL-induced apoptosis by interference with NF-κB activation. Here we describe a novel intracellular mechanism of TRAIL resistance in primary cells and how this resistance is removed by proteasome inhibitors independent of NF-κB in primary human keratinocytes. This sensitization was not mediated at the receptor-proximal level of TRAIL DISC formation or caspase 8 activation but further downstream. Activation of caspase 3 was critical, as it only occurred when mitochondrial apoptotic pathways were activated, as reflected by Smac/DIABLO, HtrA2, and cytochrome c release. Smac/DIABLO and HtrA2 are needed to release the X-linked inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein (XIAP)-mediated block of full caspase 3 maturation. XIAP can effectively block caspase 3 maturation and, intriguingly, is highly expressed in primary but not in transformed keratinocytes. Ectopic XIAP expression in transformed keratinocytes resulted in increased resistance to TRAIL. Our data suggest that breaking of this resistance via proteasome inhibitors, which are potential anticancer drugs, may sensitize certain primary cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and could thereby complicate the clinical applicability of a combination of TRAIL receptor agonists with proteasome inhibitors.