X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) blocks Apo2 ligand/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mediated apoptosis of prostate cancer cells in the presence of mitochondrial activation: sensitization by overexpression of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase/direct IAP-binding protein with low pl (Smac/DIABLO)

Chuen-Pei Ng, Benjamin Bonavida
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2002, 1 (12): 1051-8
The resistance to Apo2 ligand (Apo2L)/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis could be overcome by treatment with subtoxic concentrations of actinomycin D (Act D) in prostate tumor cells. Furthermore, the sensitization to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by Act D positively correlated with selective down-regulation of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP). In this study, we examined whether second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase/direct inhibitor of apoptosis-binding protein with low pl (Smac/DIABLO), a known inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP)-neutralizing protein, sensitizes resistant prostate tumor cells to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. The prostate tumor cell line CL-1 was treated with Apo2L/TRAIL, Act D, or a combination of the two. The apoptosis-mediated signaling pathway was examined by Western blotting and flow cytometry. Furthermore, CL-1 cells transfected with the anti-IAP inhibitor Smac/DIABLO were examined for sensitivity to Apo2L/TRAIL. Whereas Apo2L/TRAIL induced the release of cytochrome c and endogenous Smac/DIABLO in the CL-1 tumor cells, the cytosolic levels of both molecules were not sufficient to induce apoptosis. Transient transfectants with a Smac/DIABLO cDNA encoding a neutralizing inhibitor of IAPs were sensitized to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. The sensitization to Apo2L/TRAIL by Smac/DIABLO overexpression was a result of synergistic activation of caspases-3, -9, and -8. Treatment of the Smac/DIABLO transient transfectant with Apo2L/TRAIL enhanced the release of Smac/DIABLO from mitochondria and led to reduction of IAP family proteins (XIAP, c-IAP1, and c-IAP2). These results show that Smac/DIABLO can sensitize CL-1 tumor cells to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Thus, up-regulation of Smac/DIABLO and sensitization to Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis are of potential clinical application in the immunotherapy of drug-/Apo2L/TRAIL-resistant tumors.

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