Defining characteristics of Types I and II apoptotic cells in response to TRAIL

Nesrin Ozören, Wafik S El-Deiry
Neoplasia: An International Journal for Oncology Research 2002, 4 (6): 551-7
Type I cells have been defined to be independent of mitochondria for the induction of Fas death receptor-mediated apoptosis, whereas Type II cells are mitochondria-dependent. Knock-out studies in mice show that thymocytes are Type I and liver cells are Type II. We have previously shown that primary human hepatocytes and HCT116 human colon carcinoma cells behave like Type II cells because TRAIL-induced apoptosis can be blocked by the caspase 9 inhibitor, Z-LEHD-FMK. On the other hand, caspase 9 inhibition does not allow survival of TRAIL-treated SW480 colon cancer cells, which is predicted for Type I cells. Investigating the differences in TRAIL-induced apoptotic pathways in HCT116 and SW480 cells revealed that although FADD, BID, and procaspase 3 protein levels are higher in SW480 cells, and although procaspase 8 and FLIP processing is more efficient at the TRAIL-DISC of SW480 cells, BID, procaspase 3, XIAP, and PARP cleavages occur more rapidly in HCT116, despite the higher levels of BCL-2 and HSP70. Cytochrome c release from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm is more efficient in HCT116 cells. These results suggest BID cleavage as a possible limiting factor in the involvement of mitochondria in TRAIL-induced cell death. Thus, regulation of BID cleavage may define if a cell is mitochondria-dependent or -independent in response to TRAIL death receptor-induced apoptosis.

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