Cisplatin down-regulation of cellular Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme-like inhibitory proteins to restore tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-induced apoptosis in human melanoma cells

Jin H Song, Doyoun K Song, Meenhard Herlyn, Kenneth C Petruk, Chunhai Hao
Clinical Cancer Research 2003 September 15, 9 (11): 4255-66

PURPOSE: Many melanoma cell lines and primary cultures are resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms that control melanoma cell resistance and searched for chemotherapeutic drugs that could overcome the TRAIL resistance in melanoma cells.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined 21 melanoma cell lines and 3 primary melanoma cultures for their sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and then tested cisplatin, chemptothecin, and etoposide for their synergistic effects on TRAIL sensitivity in resistant melanoma cells.

RESULTS: Of 21 melanoma cell lines, 11 showed various degrees of sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through caspase-8-initiated cleavage of caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation factor 45. The remaining cell lines and primary cultures were resistant to TRAIL, but cisplatin, chemptothecin, and etoposide sensitized the resistant cell lines and primary cultures to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, which also occurred through the caspase-8-initiated caspase cascade. Of the two TRAIL death receptors (DR4 and DR5), melanoma cells primarily expressed DR5 on cell surface. Cisplatin treatment had no effects on cell surface DR5 expression or intracellular expression of Fas-associated death domain and caspase-8. Instead, cisplatin treatment down-regulated intracellular expression of the short form of cellular Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) and inhibited phosphorylation of the long form of c-FLIP.

CONCLUSIONS: The results presented here indicate that cisplatin inhibits c-FLIP protein expression and phosphorylation to restore TRAIL-induced caspase-8-initiated apoptosis in melanoma cells, thus providing a new combined therapeutic strategy for melanomas.

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