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: 5.68). 07/2009; 8(6):1515-25. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-09-0202
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "The benefit of targeting ABC cells with a combination of TQ and TRAIL is that both the intrinsic as well as the extrinsic apoptotic pathways can be activated simultaneously to elicit a more potent apoptotic response. Another reason of using this combination at sub-optimal doses is that TRAIL at high concentrations has been found to be toxic to normal cells of the body [46], however, at sub-optimal doses, TRAIL does not elicit cytotoxicity towards normal cells thereby making it an attractive drug to be used in conjunction with other inhibitors or chemotherapeutic agents. "
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    ABSTRACT: Activated B-cell lymphoma (ABC), one of the three subtypes of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) has the worst survival rate after upfront chemotherapy and is characterized by constitutively activated NFκB. We therefore studied the role of NFκB In a cohort of clinical DLBCL samples and ABC cell lines. In our clinical tissue microarray cohort of DLBCL samples, p-IκBα was detected in 38.3% of ABC DLBCL and was an independent prognostic marker for poor survival. In vitro, we found that Thymoquinone (TQ), a natural compound isolated from Nigella sativa caused release of ROS in ABC cells. TQ-mediated release of ROS in turn inhibited NFκB activity by dephosphorylating IκBα and decreased translocation of p65 subunit of NFκB in the nuclear compartment in ABC cell lines. This led to inhibition of cell viability and induction of mitochondrial dependent apoptosis in ABC-DLBCL cell lines. Additionally, TQ treatment also caused up-regulation of death receptor 5 (DR5), however, up-regulation of DR5 did not play a role in TQ-induced apoptosis. Finally, combination of sub-optimal doses of TQ and TRAIL induced efficient apoptosis in ABC-DLBCL cell lines. These data show that p-IκBα can be used as a prognostic marker and target for therapy in this aggressive sub-type of DLBCL and TQ may play an important role in the management of DLBCL in the future.
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e60540. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0060540 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Generally, the existing formulations of recombinant TRAIL are not uniformly effective because of their instability. Moreover, these shortcomings are further aggravated by its short half-life in the bloodstream (Rozanov et al. 2009). On the other hand, various recombinants of human TRAIL have been generated to improve its activity and stability, for example, His-TRAIL, Flag-TRAIL, leucine zipper (LZ)- TRAIL, isoleucine zipper (iLZ)-TRAIL (Ganten et al. 2006; Pitti et al. 1996; Schneider 2000; Walczak et al. 1999). "
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    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 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    • "The secretion systems using either yeasts (P. pastoris for human TRAIL [78] and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for human TNFα [83]) or insect cell lines (S. "
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    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 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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