Bid mediates apoptotic synergy between tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and DNA damage
ABSTRACT The death ligand, TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), has shown great promise for inducing apoptosis selectively in tumors. Although many tumor cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis alone, they can often be sensitized by co-treatment with DNA-damaging agents such as etoposide. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this therapeutically important synergy is unknown. We explored the mechanism mediating TRAIL-DNA damage apoptotic synergy in human mesothelioma cells, a tumor type particularly refractory to existing therapies. We show that Bid, a cytoplasmic Bcl-2 homology domain 3-containing protein activated by caspase 8 in response to TRAIL ligation, is essential for TRAIL-etoposide apo-ptotic synergy and, furthermore, that exposure to DNA damage primes cells to induction of apoptosis by otherwise sublethal levels of activated Bid. Finally, we show that the extensive caspase 8 cleavage seen during TRAIL-etoposide synergy is a consequence and not a cause of the apoptotic cascade activated downstream of Bid. These data indicate that TRAIL-etoposide apoptotic synergy arises because DNA damage increases the inherent sensitivity of cells to levels of TRAIL-activated Bid that would otherwise be insufficient for apoptosis. Such studies indicate how the adroit combination of differing proapoptotic and sublethal signals can provide an effective strategy for treating refractory tumors.
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ABSTRACT: TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) holds promise as an anti-cancer therapeutic but efficiently induces apoptosis in only a subset of tumor cell lines. Moreover, even in clonal populations of responsive lines, only a fraction of cells dies in response to TRAIL and individual cells exhibit cell-to-cell variability in the timing of cell death. Fractional killing in these cell populations appears to arise not from genetic differences among cells but rather from differences in gene expression states, fluctuations in protein levels and the extent to which TRAIL-induced death or survival pathways become activated. In this study, we ask how cell-to-cell variability manifests in cell types with different sensitivities to TRAIL, as well as how it changes when cells are exposed to combinations of drugs. We show that individual cells that survive treatment with TRAIL can regenerate the sensitivity and death-time distribution of the parental population, demonstrating that fractional killing is a stable property of cell populations. We also show that cell-to-cell variability in the timing and probability of apoptosis in response to treatment can be tuned using combinations of drugs that together increase apoptotic sensitivity compared to treatment with one drug alone. In the case of TRAIL, modulation of cell-to-cell variability by co-drugging appears to involve a reduction in the threshold for mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization.Physical Biology 06/2013; 10(3):035002. DOI:10.1088/1478-3975/10/3/035002 · 3.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Death receptors can directly (type I cells) or indirectly induce apoptosis by activating mitochondrial-regulated apoptosis (type II cells). The level of caspase 8 activation is thought to determine whether a cell is type I or II, with type II cells less efficient at activating this caspase following death receptor activation. FLICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP) blocks death receptor-mediated apoptosis by inhibiting caspase 8 activation; therefore, we assessed whether silencing FLIP could convert type II cells into type I. FLIP silencing-induced caspase 8 activation in Bax wild-type and null HCT116 colorectal cancer cells; however, complete caspase 3 processing and apoptosis were only observed in Bax wild-type cells. Bax-null cells were also more resistant to chemotherapy and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand and, unlike the Bax wild-type cells, were not sensitized to these agents by FLIP silencing. Further analyses indicated that release of second mitochondrial activator of caspases from mitochondria and subsequent inhibition of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) was required to induce full caspase 3 processing and apoptosis following FLIP silencing. These results indicate that silencing FLIP does not necessarily bypass the requirement for mitochondrial involvement in type II cells. Furthermore, targeting FLIP and XIAP may represent a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colorectal tumors with defects in mitochondrial-regulated apoptosis.Oncogene 10/2008; 28(1):63-72. DOI:10.1038/onc.2008.366 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tamoxifen (TAM), is widely used as a single agent in adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. Here, we investigated the effects of TAM in combination with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha)-positive and -negative breast cancer cells. We showed that cotreatment with TAM and TRAIL synergistically induced apoptosis regardless of ER-alpha status. By contrast, cotreatment did not affect the viability of normal breast epithelial cells. Cotreatment with TAM and TRAIL in breast cancer cells decreased the levels of antiapoptotic proteins including FLIPs and Bcl-2, and enhanced the levels of proapoptotic proteins such as FADD, caspase 8, tBid, Bax and caspase 9. Furthermore, cotreatment-induced apoptosis was efficiently reduced by FADD- or Bid-siRNA, indicating the implication of both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways in synergistic apoptosis induction. Importantly, cotreatment totally arrested tumor growth in an ER-alpha-negative MDA-MB-231 tumor xenograft model. The abrogation of tumor growth correlated with enhanced apoptosis in tumor tissues. Our findings raise the possibility to use TAM in combination with TRAIL for breast cancers, regardless of ER-alpha status.Oncogene 03/2008; 27(10):1472-7. DOI:10.1038/sj.onc.1210749 · 8.56 Impact Factor