Cardiac glycosides initiate Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cells by up-regulation of death receptors 4 and 5.

Division of General Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Berne and The Tiefenau Laboratory, Department of Clinical Research, University of Berne, Switzerland.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.65). 07/2006; 66(11):5867-74. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-3544
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) belongs to the TNF family known to transduce their death signals via cell membrane receptors. Because it has been shown that Apo2L/TRAIL induces apoptosis in tumor cells without or little toxicity to normal cells, this cytokine became of special interest for cancer research. Unfortunately, cancer cells are often resistant to Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis; however, this can be at least partially negotiated by parallel treatment with other substances, such as chemotherapeutic agents. Here, we report that cardiac glycosides, which have been used for the treatment of cardiac failure for many years, sensitize lung cancer cells but not normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Sensitization to Apo2L/TRAIL mediated by cardiac glycosides was accompanied by up-regulation of death receptors 4 (DR4) and 5 (DR5) on both RNA and protein levels. The use of small interfering RNA revealed that up-regulation of death receptors is essential for the demonstrated augmentation of apoptosis. Blocking of up-regulation of DR4 and DR5 alone significantly reduced cell death after combined treatment with cardiac glycosides and Apo2L/TRAIL. Combined silencing of DR4 and DR5 abrogated the ability of cardiac glycosides and Apo2L/TRAIL to induce apoptosis in an additive manner. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that glycosides up-regulate DR4 and DR5, thereby reverting the resistance of lung cancer cells to Apo2/TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Our data suggest that the combination of Apo2L/TRAIL and cardiac glycosides may be a new interesting anticancer treatment strategy.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One alternative approach for the treatment of lung cancer might be the activation of the immune system using vaccination strategies. However, most of clinical vaccination trials for lung cancer did not reach their primary end points, suggesting that lung cancer is of low immunogenicity. To provide additional experimental information about this important issue, we investigated which type of immune cells contributes to the protection from lung cancer development. Therefore, A/J mice induced for lung adenomas/adenocarcinomas by the tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) were depleted of CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells, CD11b(+) macrophages, Gr-1(+) neutrophils and asialo GM1(+) natural killer (NK) cells. Subsequent analysis of tumour growth showed an increase in tumour number only in mice depleted of NK cells. Further asking by which mechanism NK cells suppressed tumour development, we neutralized several death ligands of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) family known to be involved in NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. However, neither depletion of TNF-α, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis or FasL alone nor in combination induced an augmentation of tumour burden. To show whether an alternative cell death pathway is involved, we next generated A/J mice deficient for perforin. After challenging with NNK, mice deficient for perforin showed an increase in tumour number and volume compared to wild-type A/J mice. In summary, our data suggest that NK cells and perforin-mediated cytolysis are critically involved in the protection from lung cancer giving promise for further immunotherapeutic strategies for this disease.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 03/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: TRAIL, a tumor selective anticancer agent, may be used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, TRAIL resistance is frequently encountered. Here, the combined use of TRAIL with trifluorothymidine (TFT), a thymidylate synthase inhibitor, was examined for sensitizing NSCLC cells to TRAIL. Interactions between TRAIL and TFT were studied in NSCLC cells using growth inhibition and apoptosis assays. Western blotting and flow cytometry were used to investigate underlying mechanisms. The combined treatment of TFT and TRAIL showed synergistic cytotoxicity in A549, H292, H322 and H460 cells. For synergistic activity, the sequence of administration was important; TFT treatment followed by TRAIL exposure did not show sensitization. Combined TFT and TRAIL treatment for 24 h followed by 48 h of TFT alone was synergistic in all cell lines, with combination index values below 0.9. The treatments affected cell cycle progression, with TRAIL inducing a G1 arrest and TFT, a G2/M arrest. TFT activated Chk2 and reduced Cdc25c levels known to cause G2/M arrest. TRAIL-induced caspase-dependent apoptosis was enhanced by TFT, whereas TFT alone mainly induced caspase-independent death. TFT increased the expression of p53 and p21/WAF1, and p53 was involved in the increase of TRAIL-R2 surface expression. TFT also caused downregulation of cFLIP and XIAP and increased Bax expression. TFT enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis in NSCLC cells by sensitizing the apoptotic machinery at different levels in the TRAIL pathway. Our findings suggest a possible therapeutic benefit of the combined use of TFT and TRAIL in NSCLC.
    Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 04/2014; · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conventional genotoxic anti-cancer drugs target the proliferative advantage of tumor cells over normal cells. This kind of approach lacks the selectivity of treatment to cancer cells, because most of the targeted pathways are essential for the survival of normal cells. As a result, traditional cancer treatments are often limited by undesirable damage to normal cells (side-effects). Ideal anti-cancer drugs are expected to be highly effective against malignant tumor cells with minimal cytotoxicity toward normal cells. Such selective killing can be achieved by targeting pathways essential for the survival of cancer cells, but not normal cells. As cancer cells are characterized by their resistance to apoptosis, selective apoptosis induction is a promising approach for selective killing of cancer cells. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising tumor-selective anti-cancer drug. However, the congenital and acquired resistance of some cancer cell types, including malignant melanoma cells, currently impedes effective TRAIL therapy, and an innovative approach that can override TRAIL resistance is urgently required. Apoptosis is characterized by cell shrinkage caused by disruption of the maintenance of the normal physiological concentrations of K(+) and Na(+) and intracellular ion homeostasis. The disrupted ion homeostasis leads to depolarization and apoptosis. Recent evidence suggests that depolarization is an early and prerequisite event during TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Moreover, diverse natural products and synthetic chemicals capable of depolarizing the cell membrane exhibit tumor-selective killing and TRAIL-sensitizing effects. Here, we discuss the role of depolarization in selective killing of cancer cells in connection with the emerging concept that oxidative stress is a critical mediator of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum dysfunctions and serves as a tumor-selective target in cancer treatment.
    Frontiers in oncology. 01/2014; 4:128.


1 Download