Role of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt pathway in bladder cancer cell apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand

Natsuo Oka, Shuji Tanimoto, Ryuichi Taue, Hiroyoshi Nakatsuji, Tomoteru Kishimoto, Hirofumi Izaki, Tomoharu Fukumori, Masayuki Takahashi, Masaaki Nishitani, Hiro-omi Kanayama
Cancer Science 2006, 97 (10): 1093-8
TRAIL/Apo2L is a pro-apoptotic cytokine that is capable of inducing apoptosis in a wide variety of cancer cells but not in normal cells. Among various molecular strategies by which cancer cells evade apoptosis, PI3K/Akt signaling represents a dominant survival pathway. In this report, we investigated the role of PI3K/Akt pathway in TRAIL-induced apoptotic death in human bladder cancer cells. We observed that RT4 cells had very low level of constitutively active Akt and were sensitive to TRAIL, whereas UM-UC-3 and T24 cells had higher levels of constitutively active Akt and were resistant to TRAIL. Downregulation of constitutively active Akt by PI3K inhibitors, wortmannin and LY294002, reversed cellular resistance to TRAIL. However, transfecting constitutively active Akt into RT4 cells increased Akt activity and inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These results suggest that elevated Akt activity protects UM-UC-3 and T24 cells from TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and the PI3K/Akt signaling might inhibit apoptotic signals. Thus, the modulation of Akt activity by combining pharmacological drugs or genetic alterations of the Akt expression could induce cellular responsiveness to TRAIL and PI3K/Akt signaling pathway could serve as a novel target for therapeutic intervention in bladder cancer.

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