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Proteasome inhibitors sensitize colon carcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis via enhanced release of Smac/DIABLO from the mitochondria.

Ist Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Pathology & Oncology Research (Impact Factor: 1.81). 02/2006; 12(3):133-42. DOI: 10.1007/BF02893359
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The synergistic interaction between proteasome inhibitors and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising approach to induce cell death in tumor cells. However, the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of this synergism have been proven to be cell type specific. We therefore focused our investigation on TRAIL-resistant colon carcinoma cells in this study. DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and increased caspase-3-like enzyme activity was exclusively induced only by combined treatment with proteasome inhibitors (epoxomicin, MG132, bortezomib/PS-341) and TRAIL. The expression level of anti-apoptotic proteins (XIAP, survivin, Bcl-2, Bcl-XL), regulated by NF-kappaB transcription factor, was not effected by any of these treatments. TRAIL alone induced only partial activation of caspase-3 (p20), while the combination of TRAIL and proteasome inhibition led to the full proteolytic activation of caspase-3 (p17). Only the combination treatment induced marked membrane depolarization and the release of cytochrome c, HtrA2/Omi and Smac/DIABLO. Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) was not released in any of these conditions. These results are consistent with a model where the full activation of caspase-3 by caspase-8 is dependent on the release of Smac/DIABLO in response to the combined treatment. This molecular mechanism, independent of the inhibition NF-kappaB activity, may provide rationale for the combination treatment of colon carcinomas with proteasome inhibitors and recombinant TRAIL or agonistic antibody of TRAIL receptors.

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