JOURNAL ARTICLE

Enhanced susceptibility to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mediated apoptosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells treated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors

Makiko Uchida, Masayasu Iwase, Sayaka Takaoka, Sayaka Yoshiba, Gen Kondo, Hitoshi Watanabe, Masaru Ohashi, Masao Nagumo, Satoru Shintani
International Journal of Oncology 2007, 30 (5): 1163-71
17390018
In general, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells are relatively resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis during culture in vitro. Here, we studied the role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-K)/Akt in survival and apoptosis of these cells. The PI 3-K inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 markedly suppressed phosphorylation of Akt and accelerated TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in OSCC cells. Addition of TRAIL to PI 3-K inhibitor-treated cells resulted in caspase-8 activation and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, inhibitors of caspase-3, -8 and -9 reduced the accelerative effect of PI 3-K inhibitors on TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. These results suggest that the pro-apoptotic effect of PI 3-K inhibitors on TRAIL-mediated apoptosis may contribute to both the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. Although PI 3-K inhibitors did not affect expression of the TRAIL receptors DR4 and DR5, we observed a marked reduction in expression of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), Bcl-2, cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1 (cIAP-1) and X-linked IAP (XIAP), whereas Bax was up-regulated and no significant difference was observed in expression of Bcl-xL, Bak or cIAP-2. Therefore, the PI 3-K/Akt signaling pathway provides partial regulation of TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in OSCC cells via modulation of c-FLIP, Bcl-2, Bax, cIAP-1 and XIAP expression. These results suggest that PI 3-K inhibitors may represent a novel strategy for overcoming resistance to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in OSCC cells.

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