Gefitinib reverses TRAIL resistance in human bladder cancer cell lines via inhibition of AKT-mediated X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein expression.
ABSTRACT In a previous study, we found that the small-molecule epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor gefitinib (ZD1839, Iressa) blocked cell proliferation at biologically relevant concentrations in approximately one third (6 of 17) of human bladder cancer cell lines examined. Here, we studied the effects of gefitinib on apoptosis in a representative subset of the same panel of cells. The drug had modest effects on DNA fragmentation as a single agent at concentrations that produced strong growth inhibition (< or =1 micromol/L) and also failed to promote apoptosis induced by conventional chemotherapeutic agents (gemcitabine and paclitaxel). However, gefitinib did interact with recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to induce high levels of apoptosis in gefitinib-responsive but not gefitinib-unresponsive lines. The molecular mechanisms involved down-regulation of active AKT and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) expression and were mimicked by chemical inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway but not of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase/ERK pathway. Furthermore, direct small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of AKT resulted in down-regulation of XIAP and TRAIL sensitization, and knockdown of XIAP itself was sufficient to reverse TRAIL resistance. Together, our results show that EGFR pathway activation limits TRAIL-induced apoptosis via an AKT- and XIAP-dependent mechanism in EGFR-dependent human bladder cancer cells, providing the conceptual framework for a further evaluation of the combination in relevant preclinical in vivo models.
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ABSTRACT: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive heterogeneous cancer subgroup with a higher rate of distant recurrence and a poorer prognosis compared to other subgroups. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an attractive molecule that induces cell death in various tumor cells without causing cytotoxicity to normal cells; however, primary or acquired resistance to TRAIL often limits its efficacy in cancer patients. To develop combination therapies to improve TRAIL efficacy and/or to overcome the resistant mechanism, we screened 138 medicinal plant extracts against TRAIL-sensitive and -insensitive TNBC cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468. Among them, 5 plant extracts, Uvaria dac, Artemisia vulgaris, Cortia depressa, Dichasia bengalensis and Cinnamomum obtusifolium did not cause apparent cytotoxicity (<20%) as a single regimen, but showed significant synergistic effects in combination with TRAIL against both cell lines. Moreover, Uvaria dac, Artemisia vulgaris and Cinnamomum obtusifolium were found to suppress the phosphorylation of p65 that is involved in TRAIL-resistant mechanisms. These observations suggest that the identified plant extracts in combination with TRAIL could lead to potential therapeutic benefits for cancer patients in the clinical setting.Oncology Reports 02/2013; · 1.84 Impact Factor
Article: Urothelial cancer stem cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There is mounting evidence supporting the idea that tumors, similar to normal adult tissues, arise from a specific stem-like cell population, the cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are considered as the real driving force behind tumor growth, the ability to metastasize, as well as resistance to conventional antitumor therapy. The concept that cancer growth recapitulates normal proliferative and/or regenerative processes, even though in very dysfunctional ways, has tremendous implications for cancer therapy. The rapid development of the CSC field, shoulder to shoulder with powerful genome-wide screening techniques, has provided cause for optimism for the development of more reliable therapies in the future. However, several important issues still lie ahead. Recent identification of a highly tumorigenic stem-like compartment and existence of urothelial differentiation programs in urothelial cell carcinomas (UCCs) raised important questions about UCC initiation and development. This review examines the present knowledge on CSCs in UCCs regarding the similarities between CSCs and the adult urothelial stem cells, potential origin of urothelial CSCs, main regulatory pathways, surface markers expression, and the current state of CSC-targeting therapeutic strategies.TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 01/2010; 10:1400-15. · 1.66 Impact Factor
Article: The scavenging of superoxide radicals promotes apoptosis induced by a novel cell-permeable fusion protein, sTRAIL:FeSOD, in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-resistant leukemia cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many cancer cells develop resistance to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis, necessitating combination with chemotherapy, and normal cells manifest side effects due to the combined treatment regimen of TRAIL and chemotherapeutic drugs. A novel cancer therapy utilizing TRAIL is thus urgently needed. In this study, we exploited TRAIL receptor-mediated endocytosis for the first time to produce a cell-permeable molecule, soluble forms of recombinant TRAIL:iron superoxide dismutase (sTRAIL:FeSOD), which possesses sTRAIL-induced apoptotic ability and FeSOD antioxidant activity. The FeSOD component was rapidly introduced into the cell by sTRAIL and intracellular superoxide radical (O2-), which have been implicated as potential modulators of apoptosis in cancer cells, was eliminated, resulting in a highly reduced cellular environment. The decrease in cellular O2-, which was accompanied by a brief accumulation of H2O2 and downregulation of phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) and cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein, sensitized K562 leukemia cells and human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The low H2O2 levels protected human LO2 hepatocytes from sTRAIL:FeSOD-induced apoptosis despite downregulation of p-Akt. We also obtained evidence that the lack of response to sTRAIL:FeSOD in normal T cells occurred because sTRAIL:FeSOD shows much stronger shifts of redox state in erythroleukemia (K562) and HL-60 cells compared to that in normal T cells. K562 and HL-60 cells underwent sTRAIL:FeSOD-induced apoptosis without the dysfunction of mitochondria. The fusion protein overcomes the inability of FeSOD to permeate the cell membrane, exhibits synergistic apoptotic effects on K562 and HL-60 cells and demonstrates minimal toxicity to normal T cells and the normal liver cell line LO2, indicating its potential value for the treatment of leukemia.BMC Biology 03/2011; 9:18. · 5.75 Impact Factor