Downregulation of Mcl-1 by daunorubicin pretreatment reverses resistance of breast cancer cells to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand

Asan Institute for Life Science, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.3). 04/2012; 422(1):42-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.04.093
Source: PubMed


The tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising cancer therapeutic agent. However, tumor cells often develop resistance to TRAIL, limiting its therapeutic potential. To study the mechanism underlying TRAIL-resistance in breast cancer cells, we performed a high-throughput compound screen in MCF-7 cells. We identified daunorubicin as a potent sensitizer of TRAIL-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Daunorubicin in combination with subtoxic concentrations of recombinant human TRAIL induced massive apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. This combination was effective in TRAIL-resistant MDA-MB-231 and T47D breast cancer cells. By immunoblotting, we found that daunorubicin treatment induced loss of the anti-apoptotic protein, Mcl-1, in breast cancer cells. RNA interference experiments revealed that reduced expression of Mcl-1 sensitized MCF-7 cells to TRAIL. Together, these data suggest that Mcl-1 is a major contributor to TRAIL-resistance in breast cancer cells, and that reduction of Mcl-1 protein levels using DNA damaging agents is a promising approach for cancer therapy.

1 Read
  • Source
    • "Accordingly, we have previously identified several novel TRAIL sensitizers in TRAIL-resistant cancer cells (Oh et al., 2012). In our present study, we investigated the effects of nemadipine-A as a TRAIL sensitizer. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor family of cytokines. TRAIL selectively induces apoptotic cell death in various tumors and cancer cells, but it has little or no toxicity in normal cells. Agonism of TRAIL receptors has been considered to be a valuable cancer-therapeutic strategy. However, more than 85% of primary tumors are resistant to TRAIL, emphasizing the importance of investigating how to overcome TRAIL resistance. In this report, we have found that nemadipine-A, a cell-permeable L-type calcium channel inhibitor, sensitizes TRAIL-resistant cancer cells to this ligand. Combination treatments using TRAIL with nemadipine-A synergistically induced both the caspase cascade and apoptotic cell death, which were blocked by a pan caspase inhibitor (zVAD) but not by autophagy or a necrosis inhibitor. We further found that nemadipine-A, either alone or in combination with TRAIL, notably reduced the expression of survivin, an inhibitor of the apoptosis protein (IAP) family of proteins. Depletion of survivin by small RNA interference (siRNA) resulted in increased cell death and caspase activation by TRAIL treatment. These results suggest that nemadipine-A potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis by down-regulation of survivin expression in TRAIL resistant cells. Thus, combination of TRAIL with nemadipine-A may serve a new therapeutic scheme for the treatment of TRAIL resistant cancer cells, suggesting that a detailed study of this combination would be useful.
    Biomolecules and Therapeutics 01/2013; 21(1):29-34. DOI:10.4062/biomolther.2012.088 · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Another antiapoptotic protein documented to be involved in mechanism underlying TRAIL resistance in breast cancer cells is Mcl-1. Treatment of TRAIL-resistant MDA-MB-231 and T47D breast cancer cells with daunorubicin resulted in suppression of Mcl-1 and sensitized resistant cells to TRAIL (Oh et al. 2012). Overexpression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and XIAP occurs in breast cancer cells. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast carcinogenesis is a multidimensional disease that has resisted drug-related solutions to date because of heterogeneity, disorganized spatiotemporal behavior of signal transduction cascades, cell cycle checkpoints, cell transition, plasticity, and impaired pro-apoptotic response. These synchronized oncogenic events, including protein-protein interaction, transcriptional-regulatory, and signaling networks, trigger genomic and transcriptional disturbances in TRAIL-mediated signaling network neighborhoods. Therefore, tumor cells often acquire the ability to escape death by suppressing cell death pathways that normally function to eliminate damaged and harmful cells. This review describes the TRAIL-mediated cell death signaling pathways, the interactions between these pathways, and the ways in which these pathways are deregulated in breast cancer.
    Journal of Membrane Biology 08/2012; 245(12). DOI:10.1007/s00232-012-9490-y · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor family with apoptosis-inducing activity. Given that TRAIL selectively induces cell death in various tumors but has little or no toxicity to normal cells, TRAIL agonists have been considered as promising anti-cancer therapeutic agents. However, the resistance of many primary tumors and cancer cells to TRAIL poses a challenge. In our present study, we found that carnitine, a metabolite that transfers long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria for beta-oxidation and modulates protein kinase C activity, sensitizes TRAIL-resistant cancer cells to TRAIL. Combination of carnitine and TRAIL was found to synergistically induce apoptotic cell death through caspase activation, which was blocked by a pan caspase inhibitor, but not by an inhibitor of autophagy or an inhibitor of necrosis. The combination of carnitine and TRAIL reversed the resistance to TRAIL in lung cancer cells, colon carcinoma cells, and breast carcinoma cells. We further demonstrate that carnitine, either alone or in combination with TRAIL, enhances the expression of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein, Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax). The down-regulation of Bax expression by small interfering RNA reduced caspase activation when cells were treated with TRAIL, and experiments with cells from Bax-mice confirmed this result. Taken together, our current results suggest that carnitine can reverse the resistance of cancer cells to TRAIL by up-regulating Bax expression. Thus, a combined delivery of carnitine and TRAIL may represent a new therapeutic strategy to treat TRAIL-resistant cancer cells.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2012; 428(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.10.038 · 2.30 Impact Factor
Show more