JOURNAL ARTICLE

Bortezomib sensitizes malignant human glioma cells to TRAIL, mediated by inhibition of the NF-{kappa}B signaling pathway

Esther P Jane, Daniel R Premkumar, Ian F Pollack
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2011, 10 (1): 198-208
21220502
Previous studies have shown that the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has significant apoptosis-inducing activity in some glioma cell lines, although many lines are either moderately or completely resistant, which has limited the therapeutic applicability of this agent. Because our recent studies showed that inhibition of proteasomal function may be independently active as an apoptosis-inducing stimulus in these tumors, we investigated the sensitivity of a panel of glioma cell lines (U87, T98G, U373, A172, LN18, LN229, LNZ308, and LNZ428) to TRAIL alone and in combination with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. Analysis of these cell lines revealed marked differences in their sensitivity to these treatments, with two (LNZ308 and U373) of the eight cell lines revealing no significant induction of cell death in response to TRAIL alone. No correlation was found between sensitivity of cells to TRAIL and expression of TRAIL receptors DR4, DR5, and decoy receptor DcR1, caspase 8, apoptosis inhibitory proteins XIAP, survivin, Mcl-1, Bcl-2, Bcl-Xl, and cFLIP. However, TRAIL-resistant cell lines exhibited a high level of basal NF-κB activity. Bortezomib was capable of potentiating TRAIL-induced apoptosis in TRAIL-resistant cells in a caspase-dependent fashion. Bortezomib abolished p65/NF-κB DNA-binding activity, supporting the hypothesis that inhibition of the NF-κB pathway is critical for the enhancement of TRAIL sensitization in glioma cells. Moreover, knockdown of p65/NF-κB by shRNA also enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis, indicating that p65/NF-κB may be important in mediating TRAIL sensitivity and the effect of bortezomib in promoting TRAIL sensitization and apoptosis induction.

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