Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition induces apoptosis signaling via death receptors and mitochondria in hepatocellular carcinoma

Michael A Kern, Anke M Haugg, Andreas F Koch, Tobias Schilling, Kai Breuhahn, Henning Walczak, Binje Fleischer, Christian Trautwein, Christoph Michalski, Henning Schulze-Bergkamen, Helmut Friess, Wolfgang Stremmel, Peter H Krammer, Peter Schirmacher, Martina Müller
Cancer Research 2006 July 15, 66 (14): 7059-66
Inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 elicits chemopreventive and therapeutic effects in solid tumors that are coupled with the induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. We investigated the mechanisms by which COX-2 inhibition induces apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. COX-2 inhibition triggered expression of the CD95, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-R, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-R1 and TRAIL-R2 death receptors. Addition of the respective specific ligands further increased apoptosis, indicating that COX-2 inhibition induced the expression of functional death receptors. Overexpression of a dominant-negative Fas-associated death domain mutant reduced COX-2 inhibitor-mediated apoptosis. Furthermore, our findings showed a link between COX-2 inhibition and the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. COX-2 inhibition led to a rapid down-regulation of myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1), an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, followed by translocation of Bax to mitochondria and cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Consequently, overexpression of Mcl-1 led to inhibition of COX-2 inhibitor-mediated apoptosis. Furthermore, blocking endogenous Mcl-1 function using a small-interfering RNA approach enhanced COX-2 inhibitor-mediated apoptosis. It is of clinical importance that celecoxib acted synergistically with chemotherapeutic drugs in the induction of apoptosis in HCC cells. The clinical relevance of these results is further substantiated by the finding that COX-2 inhibitors did not sensitize primary human hepatocytes toward chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, COX-2 inhibition engages different apoptosis pathways in HCC cells stimulating death receptor signaling, activation of caspases, and apoptosis originating from mitochondria.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"