Engineering a leucine zipper-TRAIL homotrimer with improved cytotoxicity in tumor cells

Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 6.11). 07/2009; 8(6):1515-25. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-09-0202
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Successful cancer therapies aim to induce selective apoptosis in neoplastic cells. The current suboptimal efficiency and selectivity drugs have therapeutic limitations and induce concomitant side effects. Recently, novel cancer therapies based on the use of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) have emerged. TRAIL, a key component of the natural antitumor immune response, selectively kills many tumor cell types. Earlier studies with recombinant TRAIL, however, revealed its many shortcomings including a short half-life, off-target toxicity, and existence of TRAIL-resistant tumor cells. We improved the efficacy of recombinant TRAIL by redesigning its structure and the expression and purification procedures. The result is a highly stable leucine zipper (LZ)-TRAIL chimera that is simple to produce and purify. This chimera functions as a trimer in a manner that is similar to natural TRAIL. The formulation of the recombinant LZ-TRAIL we have developed has displayed high specific activity in both cell-based assays in vitro and animal tests in vivo. Our results have shown that the half-life of LZ-TRAIL is improved and now exceeds 1 h in mice compared with a half-life of only minutes reported earlier for recombinant TRAIL. We have concluded that our LZ-TRAIL construct will serve as a foundation for a new generation of fully human LZ-TRAIL proteins suitable for use in preclinical and clinical studies and for effective combination therapies to overcome tumor resistance to TRAIL.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is considered to be a promising anticancer agent because its active form TRAIL trimer is able to induce apoptosis in different tumor cell lines while sparing normal cells. However, TRAIL trimer possesses a short half-life and low stability, which turns out to be a major obstacle for the development of clinical trials. In our present study, we constructed a recombined TRAIL trimer by genetic fusion of non-collagenous domain (NC1) of human collagen XVIII or its trimerization domain (TD) to C-terminus of TRAIL via a flexible linker, and then refolded the fusion proteins using a two-step refolding approach, namely a combination of dilution and gel filtration chromatography. As a result, both recombinant proteins, TRAIL-NC1 and TRAIL-TD, were expressed in Escherichia coli as inclusion bodies, and they exhibited difficultly to refold efficiently by conventional methods. Thereby, we applied a modified two-step refolding approach to refold fusion proteins. More than 55 % of TRAIL-NC1 and 90 % of TRAIL-TD protein activity was recovered during the two-step refolding approach, and their stability was also increased significantly. Also, size exclusion chromatography showed refolded TRAIL-NC1 was a trimer while TRAIL-TD, hexamer. However, both of them exerted good apoptosis activity on NCI-H460 cells.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 12/2012; 97(16). DOI:10.1007/s00253-012-4604-0 · 3.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The extracellular domains of death ligands and those of death receptors are closely related to many serious human diseases through the initiation of apoptosis. Recombinant production of the extracellular domains has been investigated due to demand for a large amount of purified samples, which are a prerequisite for their biochemical characterization and constitute the fundamentals of medical applications. This review focuses on the recombinant production of extracellular domains of the major members of death ligand and death receptor families using non-mammalian expression systems with an emphasis on Fas ligand and Fas receptor. In contrast to the efficient production of the functional extracellular domains of TRAIL, TNFα and LTα by intracellular expression systems using Escherichia coli or Pichia pastoris, that of Fas ligand requires the secretory expression systems using P. pastoris or Dictyostelium discoideum, and the productivity in P. pastoris was largely dependent on tag sequence, potential N-glycosylation site and expressed protein region. On the other hand, the exploitation of insect cell systems is generally useful for the preparation of functional extracellular domains of death receptors containing many disulfide bridges in the absence of extended secondary structure, and a Bombyx mori larvae secretion system presented a superior productivity for human Fas receptor extracellular domain. Based on the results obtained so far, further efforts should be devoted to the artificial control of death ligand - death receptor interactions in order to make a contribution to medicine, represented by the development of novel biopharmaceuticals.
    Protein and Peptide Letters 04/2012; 19(8):867-79. DOI:10.2174/092986612801619606 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein) is an anti-apoptotic protein exerting its activity by binding and suppressing caspases. As XIAP is overexpressed in several tumours, in which it apparently contributes to chemoresistance, and because its activity in vivo is antagonised by second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (SMAC)/direct inhibitor of apoptosis-binding protein with low pI, small molecules mimicking SMAC (so called SMAC-mimetics) can potentially overcome tumour resistance by promoting apoptosis. Three homodimeric compounds were synthesised tethering a monomeric SMAC-mimetic with different linkers and their affinity binding for the baculoviral inhibitor repeats domains of XIAP measured by fluorescent polarisation assay. The apoptotic activity of these molecules, alone or in combination with tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and/or Bortezomib, was tested in melanoma cell lines by MTT viability assays and western blot analysis of activated caspases. We show that in melanoma cell lines, which are typically resistant to chemotherapeutic agents, XIAP knock-down sensitises cells to TRAIL treatment in vitro, also favouring the accumulation of cleaved caspase-8. We also describe a new series of 4-substituted azabicyclo[5.3.0]alkane monomeric and dimeric SMAC-mimetics that target various members of the IAP family and powerfully synergise at submicromolar concentrations with TRAIL in inducing cell death. Finally, we show that the simultaneous administration of newly developed SMAC-mimetics with Bortezomib potently triggers apoptosis in a melanoma cell line resistant to the combined effect of SMAC-mimetics and TRAIL. Hence, the newly developed SMAC-mimetics effectively synergise with TRAIL and Bortezomib in inducing cell death. These findings warrant further preclinical studies in vivo to verify the anticancer effectiveness of the combination of these agents.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2010; 102(12):1707-16. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605687 · 4.82 Impact Factor