Augmentation of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis by the synthetic retinoid 6-[3-(1-adamantyl)-4-hydroxyphenyl]-2-naphthalene carboxylic acid (CD437) through up-regulation of TRAIL receptors in human lung cancer cells

S Y Sun, P Yue, W K Hong, R Lotan
Cancer Research 2000 December 15, 60 (24): 7149-55
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis via the death receptors DR4 and DR5 in different transformed cells in vitro and exhibits potent antitumor activity in vivo with minor side effects. The synthetic retinoid CD437 is a potent inducer of apoptosis in cancer cells through increased levels of death receptors. We demonstrate that treatment of human lung cancer cells with a combination of suboptimal concentrations of CD437 and TRAIL enhanced induction of apoptosis in tumor cell lines with wild-type p53 but not in normal lung epithelial cells. CD437 up-regulated DR4 and DR5 expression. The CD437 and TRAIL combination enhanced activation of caspase-3, caspase-7, caspase-8, and caspase-9 and the subsequent cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and DNA fragmentation factor 45. Caspase inhibitors blocked the induction of apoptosis by this combination. Moreover, this combination induced Bid cleavage and increased cytochrome c release from mitochondria. These results suggest that the mechanism of enhanced apoptosis by this combination involves p53-dependent increase of death receptors by CD437, activation of these receptors by TRAIL, enhanced Bid cleavage, release of cytochrome c, and activation of caspase-3, caspase-7, caspase-8, and caspase-9. These findings suggest a novel strategy for the prevention and treatment of human lung cancer with the CD437 and TRAIL combination.

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