Life and death by death receptors
ABSTRACT Death receptors are members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily characterized by a cytoplasmic region known as the "death domain" that enables the receptors to initiate cytotoxic signals when engaged by cognate ligands. Binding to the ligand results in receptor aggregation and recruitment of adaptor proteins, which, in turn, initiates a proteolytic cascade by recruiting and activating initiator caspases 8 and 10. Death receptors were once thought to primarily induce cytotoxic signaling cascades. However, recent data indicate that they initiate multiple signaling pathways, unveiling a number of nonapoptosis-related functions, including regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation, chemokine production, inflammatory responses, and tumor-promoting activities. These noncytotoxic cascades are not simply a manifestation of inhibiting proapoptotic pathways but are intrinsically regulated by adaptor protein and receptor internalization processes. Insights into these various death receptor signaling pathways provide new therapeutic strategies targeting these receptors in pathophysiological processes.
SourceAvailable from: Koen Galenkamp[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Patients with high-risk neuroblastoma (NBL) tumors have a high mortality rate. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the development of new treatments for this condition. Targeting death receptor signaling has been proposed as an alternative to standard chemo- and radio-therapies in various tumors. In NBL, this therapeutic strategy has been largely disregarded, possibly because ~50-70% of all human NBLs are characterized by caspase-8 silencing. However, the expression of caspase-8 is detected in a significant group of NBL patients, and they could therefore benefit from treatments that induce cell death through death receptor activation. Given that cytokines, such as TNFα, are able to upregulate Fas expression, we sought to address the therapeutic relevance of co-treatment with TNFα and FasL in NBL. For the purpose of the study we used a set of eight NBL cell lines. Here we explore the cell death induced by TNFα, FasL, cisplatin, and etoposide, or a combination thereof by Hoechst staining and calcein viability assay. Further assessment of the signaling pathways involved is performed by caspase activity assays and Western blot experiments. Characterization of Fas expression levels was achieved by qRT-PCR, cell surface biotinylation assays, and cytometry. We have found that TNFα is able to increase FasL-induced cell death by a mechanism that involves the NF-κB-mediated induction of the Fas receptor. Moreover, TNFα sensitized NBL cells to DNA-damaging agents (i.e. cisplatin and etoposide) that induce the expression of FasL. Priming to FasL-, cisplatin-, and etoposide-induced cell death could only be achieved in NBLs that display TNFα-induced upregulation of Fas. Further analysis denotes that the high degree of heterogeneity between NBLs is also manifested in Fas expression and modulation thereof by TNFα. In summary, our findings reveal that TNFα sensitizes NBL cells to FasL-induced cell death by NF-κB-mediated upregulation of Fas and unveil a new mechanism through which TNFα enhances the efficacy of currently used NBL treatments, cisplatin and etoposide.Molecular Cancer 03/2015; 14(1):62. DOI:10.1186/s12943-015-0329-x · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Natural health products (NHPs) are defined as natural extracts containing polychemical mixtures; they play a leading role in the discovery and development of drugs, for disease treatment. More than 50% of current cancer therapeutics are derived from natural sources. However, the efficacy of natural extracts in treating cancer has not been explored extensively. Scientific research into the validity and mechanism of action of these products is needed to develop NHPs as main stream cancer therapy. The preclinical and clinical validation of NHPs would be essential for this development. This review summarizes some of the recent advancements in the area of NHPs with anticancer effects. This review also focuses on various NHPs that have been studied to scientifically validate their claims as anticancer agents. Furthermore, this review emphasizes the efficacy of these NHPs in targeting the multiple vulnerabilities of cancer cells for a more selective efficacious treatment. The studies reviewed here have paved the way for the introduction of more NHPs from traditional medicine to the forefront of modern medicine, in order to provide alternative, safer, and cheaper complementary treatments for cancer therapy and possibly improve the quality of life of cancer patients.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2015; 2015:751348. DOI:10.1155/2015/751348 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tissue development and homeostasis are regulated by opposing pro-survival and pro-death signals. An interesting feature of the Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) family of ligands is that they simultaneously activate opposing signals within a single cell via the same ligand-receptor complex. The magnitude of pro-death events such as caspase activation and pro-survival events such as Nuclear Factor (NF)-κB activation vary not only from one cell type to the next but also among individual cells of the same type due to intrinsic and extrinsic noise. The molecules involved in these pro-survival and/or pro-death pathways, and the different phenotypes that result from their activities, have been recently reviewed. Here we focus on the impact of cell-to-cell variability in the strength of these opposing signals on shaping cell fate decisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Trends in cell biology 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.tcb.2015.03.003 · 12.31 Impact Factor