Thymidine phosphorylase suppresses apoptosis induced by microtubule-interfering agents.
ABSTRACT We investigated the ability of thymidine phosphorylase (TP) to confer cancer cells resistance to MIA (microtubule-interfering agents)-induced apoptosis. Jurkat cells were stably transfected with TP cDNA (Jurkat/TP) and the sensitivity to MIAs were examined. Jurkat/TP cells were more resistant to apoptosis induced by nocodazole, vincristine, vinblastine, paclitaxel and 2-methoxyestradiol than mock-transfected Jurkat/CV cells. TP enzymatic activity was not required for this effect of TP. Jurkat/TP cells showed weak phosphorylation of Bcl-2, and kinase inhibitors staurosporine and genistein attenuated not only MIA-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation but also cytotoxicity of MIA in Jurkat/CV, but not in Jurkat/TP. MIAs diminished expression of FasL in Jurkat/TP but not in Jurkat/CV, and neutralization of FasL by anti-FasL antibody considerably attenuated the cytotoxic effect of the MIAs in Jurkat/CV, but the effect of the antibody was marginal in Jurkat/TP cells. Our study provides further evidence that TP functions in conferring resistance on cancer cells to the stress induced by MIAs. In addition, we show that TP-induced inhibition of Bcl-2 phosphorylation and suppression of FasL may contribute to the protective function of TP in cancer cells.
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ABSTRACT: Thymidine phosphorylase (TP), also known as "platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor" (PD-ECGF), is an enzyme, which is upregulated in a wide variety of solid tumors including breast and colorectal cancers. TP promotes tumor growth and metastasis by preventing apoptosis and inducing angiogenesis. Elevated levels of TP are associated with tumor aggressiveness and poor prognosis. Therefore, TP inhibitors are synthesized in an attempt to prevent tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. TP is also indispensable for the activation of the extensively used 5-fluorouracil prodrug capecitabine, which is clinically used for the treatment of colon and breast cancer. Clinical trials that combine capecitabine with TP-inducing therapies (such as taxanes or radiotherapy) suggest that increasing TP expression is an adequate strategy to enhance the antitumoral efficacy of capecitabine. Thus, TP plays a dual role in cancer development and therapy: on the one hand, TP inhibitors can abrogate the tumorigenic and metastatic properties of TP; on the other, TP activity is necessary for the activation of several chemotherapeutic drugs. This duality illustrates the complexity of the role of TP in tumor progression and in the clinical response to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy.Medicinal Research Reviews 06/2009; 29(6):903-53. · 10.70 Impact Factor