Phytosphingosine in combination with TRAIL sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL through synergistic up-regulation of DR4 and DR5.
ABSTRACT Sensitization of cancer cells to TRAIL could improve the effectiveness of TRAIL as an anticancer agent. We explored whether TRAIL in combination with phytosphingosine could sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL. The combined treatment enhanced synergistic apoptotic cell death of Jurkat T cells, compared to TRAIL or phytosphingosine alone. Enhanced apoptosis in response to the combination treatment was associated with caspase-8 activation-mediated Bax and Bak activation and mitochondrial dysfunction. The combination treatment also resulted in synergistic up-regulation of TRAIL receptor R1 (DR4) and R2 (DR5). siRNA targeting of DR5 significantly attenuated the combination treatment-induced caspase-8 activation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and apoptotic cell death. Upon stimulation of cells with the combination treatment, NF-kappaB was activated. Moreover, siRNA targeting of NF-kappaB significantly attenuated the combination treatment-induced DR4 and DR5 expression and receptor-mediated caspase-8 activation. These results indicate that phytosphingosine sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL through the synergistic up-regulation of DR4 and DR5 in an NF-kappaB-dependent fashion resulting in caspase-8 activation and subsequent mitochondrial dysfunction. These findings support the potential application of combination treatment with TRAIL and phytosphingosine in the treatment of cancers that are less sensitive to TRAIL.
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ABSTRACT: Emergence of castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer is due to activation of survival pathways, including apoptosis suppression and anoikis resistance, and increased neovascularization. Thus targeting of apoptotic players is of critical significance in prostate cancer therapy since loss of apoptosis and resistance to anoikis are critical in aberrant malignant growth, metastasis and conferring therapeutic failure. The majority of therapeutic agents act through intrinsic mitochondrial, extrinsic death receptor pathways or endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways to induce apoptosis. Current therapeutic strategies target restoring regulatory molecules that govern the pro-survival pathways such as PTEN which regulates AKT activity. Other strategies focus on reactivating the apoptotic pathways either by down-regulating anti-apoptotic players such as BCL-2 or by up-regulating pro-apoptotic protein families, most notably, the caspases. Caspases are a family of cystine proteases which serve critical roles in apoptotic and inflammatory signaling pathways. During tumorigenesis, significant loss or inactivation of lead members in the caspase family leads to impairing apoptosis induction, causing a dramatic imbalance in the growth dynamics, ultimately resulting in aberrant growth of human cancers. Recent exploitation of apoptosis pathways towards re-instating apoptosis induction via caspase re-activation has provided new molecular platforms for the development of therapeutic strategies effective against advanced prostate cancer as well as other solid tumors. This review will discuss the current cellular landscape featuring the caspase family in tumor cells and their activation via pharmacologic intervention towards optimized anti-cancer therapeutic modalities. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Apoptosis: Four Decades Later".Experimental oncology 10/2012; 34(3):165-75.
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ABSTRACT: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a common and often fatal malignancy, diagnosed at an advanced stage in more than half of the cases. Chemo-resistance remains a major problem in the treatment of NSCLC patients with conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore main research efforts are focused on the development of novel targeted agents. In this review we provide an overview on the use of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptor targeting agents in NSCLC models and in early clinical studies. Different TRAIL receptor targeting agents are available which have been tested in NSCLC models and some were tested in the clinic. The efficacy of these drugs as single agents in NSCLC models is discussed as well as different mechanisms of resistance that are found in NSCLC cell lines. In order to maximize sensitivity to TRAIL receptor targeting drugs, combined use with other drugs is of interest. The current status of tested combinations of TRAIL receptor targeting agents with other therapeutics, such as classical cytotoxics, Bcl-2 family targeting agents, proteasome inhibitors, EGFR inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors and COX-2 inhibitors as well as their mechanisms in preclinical studies are discussed. Clinical studies on TRAIL targeted therapies in which NSCLC patients were included are discussed and future perspectives are considered.Drug resistance updates: reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy 01/2010; 13(1-2):2-15. · 12.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Doxorubicin (Dox) is widely used to treat a variety of tumors. However, resistance to this drug is common, making successful treatment more difficult. Previously, we introduced a novel phytosphingosine derivative, N,N-dimethyl phytosphingosine (DMPS), as a potent anticancer therapeutic agent in human leukemia cells. This study was performed to investigate whether DMPS can sensitize HL-60/MX2, a multidrug-resistant variant of HL-60, to Dox-induced apoptosis. Low concentrations of DMPS sensitized HL-60/MX2 cells to Dox-induced apoptosis. Combined Dox + DMPS treatment-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 as well as PARP cleavage. Cytochrome c and AIF release were also observed in Dox + DMPS-treated HL60/MX2 cells. Pretreatment with z-VAD-fmk markedly prevented caspase-3 activation and moderately suppressed apoptosis, suggesting that Dox + DMPS-induced apoptosis is somewhat (not completely) dependent on caspase. Cytochrome c and AIF release were not affected by pretreatment with z-VAD-fmk. The ROS scavenger NAC efficiently suppressed not only ROS generation, but also caspase-3-mediated PARP cleavage, apoptosis, and release of cytochrome c and AIF, indicating a role of ROS in combined Dox + DMPS treatment-induced apoptotic death signaling. Taken together, these observations suggest that DMPS may be used as a therapeutic agent for overcoming drug-resistance in cancer cells by enhancing drug-induced apoptosis.Apoptosis 08/2010; 15(8):982-93. · 4.07 Impact Factor