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Downregulation of Bcl-2, FLIP or IAPs (XIAP and survivin) by siRNAs sensitizes resistant melanoma cells to Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

Center for Drug Discovery and Development, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
Cell Death and Differentiation (Impact Factor: 8.39). 09/2004; 11(8):915-23. DOI: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401416
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Melanoma cells are relatively resistant to Apo2L/TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand). We postulated that resistance might result from higher expression of inhibitors of apoptosis including Bcl-2, FLIP (FLICE-like inhibitory protein) or IAPs such as XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis) or survivin. Compared to scrambled or mismatch controls, targeting individual inhibitors with siRNA (si-Bcl-2, si-XIAP, si-FLIP or si-Surv), followed by Apo2L/TRAIL resulted in marked increase in apoptosis in melanoma cells. Compared to Bcl-2 or FLIP, siRNAs against XIAP and survivin were most potent in sensitizing melanoma cells. A similar substantial increase in apoptosis was seen in renal carcinoma cells (SKRC-45, Caki-2), following the inhibition of either XIAP or survivin by siRNAs. Apo2L/TRAIL treatment in IAP-targeted cells resulted in cleavage of Bid, activation of caspase-9 and cleavage of PARP (poly ADP-ribose polymerase). Thus, Apo2L/TRAIL resistance can be overcome by interfering with expression of inhibitors of apoptosis regulating both extrinsic (death receptor) or intrinsic (mitochondrial) pathways of apoptosis in melanoma cells.

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