Induction of Noxa sensitizes human colorectal cancer cells expressing Mcl-1 to the small-molecule Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor, ABT-737

Kenji Okumura, Shengbing Huang, Frank A Sinicrope
Clinical Cancer Research 2008 December 15, 14 (24): 8132-42

PURPOSE: The intrinsic drug resistance of colorectal cancers is related in part to overexpression of prosurvival Bcl-2 family proteins. We determined the effects of ABT-737, a small-molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL but not Mcl-1, on apoptosis induction alone and in combination with CPT-11 and explored mechanisms underlying their cooperativity.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Human colorectal carcinoma cell lines (HCT116 wild-type and Bax(-/-), HT-29, and RKO) were incubated with ABT-737 alone and combined with CPT-11 or bortezomib, and cell viability, caspase cleavage, and Annexin V labeling were measured. In drug-treated cell lines, protein-protein interactions were analyzed by immunoprecipitation. Lentiviral short hairpin RNA was used to knockdown Noxa expression.

RESULTS: ABT-737 induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner and its coadministration with the topoisomerase I inhibitor, CPT-11, resulted in a synergistic cytotoxic effect. Apoptosis induction by the drug combination was associated with enhanced caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage that were completely abrogated in Bax knockout cells. ABT-737 unsequestered the BH3-only protein Bim from its complex with Bcl-xL or Bcl-2 and disrupted the interaction of Bcl-xL with Bak. CPT-11 treatment up-regulated Noxa expression, as did bortezomib, and enhanced Noxa/Mcl-1 complexes. CPT-11 also disrupted the Mcl-1/Bak interaction. Knockdown of Noxa using short hairpin RNA lentiviral constructs was shown to significantly attenuate the cytotoxic effect of CPT-11 or bortezomib combined with ABT-737 and inhibited caspase-3 cleavage.

CONCLUSIONS: Induction of Noxa by CPT-11 or bortezomib can sensitize colorectal cancer cells expressing Mcl-1 to ABT-737. Up-regulation of Noxa may therefore represent an important strategy to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of ABT-737 against colorectal cancer and other solid tumors.

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"