Gene Summary

Gene:XIAP; X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis
Aliases: API3, ILP1, MIHA, XLP2, BIRC4, IAP-3, hIAP3, hIAP-3
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that belongs to a family of apoptotic suppressor proteins. Members of this family share a conserved motif termed, baculovirus IAP repeat, which is necessary for their anti-apoptotic function. This protein functions through binding to tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors TRAF1 and TRAF2 and inhibits apoptosis induced by menadione, a potent inducer of free radicals, and interleukin 1-beta converting enzyme. This protein also inhibits at least two members of the caspase family of cell-death proteases, caspase-3 and caspase-7. Mutations in this gene are the cause of X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome. Alternate splicing results in multiple transcript variants. Pseudogenes of this gene are found on chromosomes 2 and 11.[provided by RefSeq, Feb 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase XIAP
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: XIAP (cancer-related)

Shen L, Zhang G, Lou Z, et al.
Cryptotanshinone enhances the effect of Arsenic trioxide in treating liver cancer cell by inducing apoptosis through downregulating phosphorylated- STAT3 in vitro and in vivo.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017; 17(1):106 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is approved for treating terminal-stage liver cancer in China. Cryptotanshinone (CT), a STAT3 inhibitor, has exhibited certain anti-tumor potency; however, the use of CT enhanced ATO for treating liver cancer has not been reported. Here we try to elucidate how CT could enhance the efficacy of ATO for treating liver cancer and its correlation to STAT3 in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Cell viability of ATO combined with CT was assessed by (1)MTT assay. Cell apoptosis induced by ATO combined with CT was detected by Annexin V/PI staining and apoptosis-related proteins were detected by western blotting. STAT3-related proteins were analysis by western blotting analysis and Immunofluorescence assays. Efficacy evaluation of ATO combined with CT on xenograft was carried in nude mice and related proteins were analysis by Immunohistochemistry assays.
RESULTS: First we evaluated cell vitality, and our data indicated that the ATO combined with CT showed obvious growth inhibition of Bel-7404 cells compared to ATO or CT alone. Next we found that ATO combined with CT induced cell apoptosis in Bel-7404 cells and upregulated the activation of apoptosis-related proteins cleaved-caspase-3, cleaved-caspase-9, and cleaved-poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in a time-dependent manner. Next, we found that ATO combined with CT not only inhibited the constitutive levels of phosphorylated-JAK2 and phosphorylated-STAT3(Tyr705) but did so in a time-dependent manner. We also found that ATO combined with CT reversed the upregulated expression of phosphorylated-STAT3(Tyr705) stimulated by interleukin-6 and downregulated STAT3 direct target genes and the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2, XIAP, and survivin but obviously upregulated the promoting apoptosis proteins Bak,.In vivo studies showed that ATO combined with CT decreased tumor growth. Tumors from ATO combined with CT-treated mice showed decreased levels of phosphorylated-STAT3(Tyr705) and the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 but an increased level of pro-apoptotic protein Bax.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides strong evidence that CT could enhance the efficacy of ATO in treating liver cancer both in vitro and in vivo. Downregulation of phosphorylated-STAT3 expression may play an important role in inducing apoptosis of Bel-7404 cells.

Shabestari RM, Safa M, Alikarami F, et al.
CREB knockdown inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in human pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells through inhibition of prosurvival signals.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 87:274-279 [PubMed] Related Publications
A majority of acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients overexpress CREB in the bone marrow. However, the functional significance of this up-regulation and the detailed molecular mechanism behind the regulatory effect of CREB on the growth of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) cells has not been elucidated. We demonstrated here that CREB knockdown induced apoptosis and impaired growth of BCP-ALL NALM-6 cells which was associated with caspase activation. The gene expression levels of prosurvival signals Bcl-2, Mcl-1, Bcl-xL, survivin and XIAP were down-regulated upon CREB suppression. These findings indicate a critical role for CREB in proliferation, survival, and apoptosis of BCP-ALL cells. The data also suggest that CREB could possibly serve as potential therapeutic target in BCP-ALL.

Zhou Z, Luo A, Shrivastava I, et al.
Regulation of XIAP Turnover Reveals a Role for USP11 in Promotion of Tumorigenesis.
EBioMedicine. 2017; 15:48-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The emerging regulatory role of deubiquitinases (DUBs) has been implicated in various fundamental processes and pathogenesis. To determine the pivotal role that DUBs play in mediating tumorigenesis, we have performed a non-biased screen of 67 human DUBs based on a mammary cell transformation assay. This led to the identification of USP11 as a critical determinant of mammary tumor initiation and progression. Using an approach of protein complex purification coupled with mass spectrometry, we further identified XIAP to be a target for USP11. We demonstrated that, while depletion of XIAP attenuates cell transformation, elevated USP11 significantly promotes the tumor colony formation through stabilization of XIAP. Molecular modeling coupled with mutagenesis analyses further revealed that Leu207 on the BIR2 domain of XIAP facilitates its interaction with USP11. Stabilization of XIAP due to its deubiquitylation by USP11 leads to the inhibition of cell anoikis and apoptosis, which in turn promotes tumorigenesis. Finally, immunohistochemical staining revealed that aberrant accumulation of USP11 correlates with elevated levels of XIAP in breast cancer tissues. We therefore propose that aberrant USP11, via stabilization of XIAP, promotes tumor initiation and progression.

Ren M, Wang Z, Gao G, et al.
Impact of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein on survival of nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients following radiotherapy.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(9):11825-11833 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aims to investigate CNE1 and CNE2 cell proliferation and apoptosis of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) expression in NPC patients after radiotherapy. Quantitative real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western Blot detected XIAP and XIAP-associated factor1 (XAF1) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression of CNE1 and CNE2 in NPC cells irradiated by γ-ray; MTT and flow cytometry assays detected CNE2 cells proliferation and apoptotic rate, respectively. With a retrospective analysis of 109 NPC patients in Xinxiang Central Hospital, immunohistochemistry (IHC) method detected XIAP expression, followed by a 5-year clinical analysis of the prognosis relevance after radiotherapy. In vitro, the inhibition and apoptotic rates of cells increased with the growth of radiation dose. qRT-PCR and Western blot detection declared that XIAP mRNA and protein expression increased, whereas XAF1 mRNA and protein expression decreased with the growth of radiation dose and exposure time. And XIAP mRNA and protein expression were negatively correlated with proliferation and apoptotic rates of the cells. In vivo, positive XIAP expression rate was negatively correlated with pathological tumor-node-metastasis (p-TNM) staging and tumor differentiation. Further, high XIAP expression, high p-TNM staging, and lower degree of differentiation were significantly correlated with the decrease of NPC patients' survival rate. Additionally, XIAP expression, p-TNM staging, and degrees of differentiation were independent risk factors for the survival of the NPC patients after radiotherapy. Increased XIAP expression and decreased XAF1 expression may be one reason for the apoptosis delays of CNE1 and CNE2 cells after irradiation, and the XIAP expression or the p-TNM staging and degree of differentiation are independent risk factors for NPC patients' survival after radiotherapy, providing a molecular rationale for radiotherapy and prognosis of NPC.

Pak PJ, Kang BH, Park SH, et al.
Antitumor effects of herbal mixture extract in the pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line PANC1.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2875-2883 [PubMed] Related Publications
A recent study showned that complementary medicine is gradually gaining wide acceptance. In the present study, the herbal mixture extract (H3) composed of 3 oriental herbal plants was investigated for anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. H3 inhibited PANC1 cell growth by promoting G0/G1 arrest (11% increase) and apoptotic cell death (9% increase). H3 also suppressed stem cell-like side population cells (4% decrease) and migration activity (24% decrease). In contrast, gemcitabine decreased side population cells and migration activity by 3 and 11%, respectively. These effects of H3 and gemcitabine were further studied by examining the expression of apoptosis-associated genes (CXCR4, JAK2 and XIAP) and stem cell-associated genes (ABCG2, POU5F1 and SOX2). We also found that H3 suppressed tumor growth by 46% in a PANC1‑xenograft model, while gemcitabine caused a 36% decrease. The antitumor effects of H3 were confirmed by western blot analysis for COX-2 and cytochrome c expression. Furthermore, necrotic cell death and erythrocyte-containing cavities were detected in tumor tissue by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Notably, the combinatorial therapy (H3 and gemcitabine) increased tumor growth compared to that in the control. In conclusion, the present study shows that H3 has promise as a therapeutic agent against pancreatic cancer and its cancer stem cells.

Park M, Yoon HJ, Kang MC, et al.
PTK7 regulates radioresistance through nuclear factor-kappa B in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):14217-14224 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor radioresistance is a major reason for decreased efficiency of cancer radiation therapy. Although a number of factors involved in radioresistance have been identified, the molecular mechanisms underlying radioresistance of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) have not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the role of oncogenic protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7) in the resistance of ESCC to radiation therapy. ESCC cell lines with high PTK7 expression were more refractive to radiation than those with low PTK7 levels. In radioresistant ESCC cells, PTK7 knockdown by specific siRNAs decreased the survival of irradiated cells and increased radiation-induced apoptosis, while in radiosensitive ESCC cells, PTK7 overexpression promoted cell survival and inhibited radiation-induced apoptosis. We hypothesized that PTK7 could regulate the activation of transcription factor NF-kB known for its role in cancer radioresistance. Our results indicated that the inhibition of PTK7 suppressed nuclear translocation of NF-kB subunit p65 induced by radiation, suggesting relevance of PTK7 expression with NF-kB activation in radioresistant ESCC. Furthermore, the levels of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs), XIAP, and survivin, encoded by NF-kB-regulated genes, were induced in irradiated radioresistant cells but not in radiosensitive cells, while PTK7 knockdown downregulated IAP expression. Our findings revealed a novel mechanism underlying radioresistance in ESCC, which is associated with PTK7 and NF-kB-dependent apoptosis. These results suggest that the manipulation of PTK7 expression can be instrumental in enhancing ESCC response to radiotherapy. This study demonstrates that PTK7 plays a significant role in ESCC radioresistance via the NF-kB pathway.

Farhadi E, Zaker F, Safa M, Rezvani MR
miR-101 sensitizes K562 cell line to imatinib through Jak2 downregulation and inhibition of NF-κB target genes.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):14117-14128 [PubMed] Related Publications
Imatinib mesylate (IM) is a frontline treatment in the early chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, intrinsic and acquired resistance against this drug has been defined and this issue has become a problem and a challenge in CML treatment. According to new findings, the inhibition of Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) in Bcr-Abl+ cells can promote apoptosis in IM-resistant cells. microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the gene expression by targeting the messenger RNA (mRNA) for degradation. Recently, a growing body of evidence has implicated that dysregulation of miRNAs is associated with cancer initiation and development. In this report, we proposed that miRNA-101 targets Jak2 mRNA and regulates its expression and induces K562 leukemia cell apoptosis. Here, we transduced the K562 cell line with a miR-101-overexpressing vector and evaluated the Jak2 mRNA level. Our results showed that miR-101 overexpression in Bcr-Abl+ cells reduced the Jak2 mRNA level. Moreover, imatinib treatment and miR-101 upregulation led to miR-23a overexpression, which has putative binding site(s) on 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTRs) of STAT5, CCND1, and Bcl-2 genes. Our results also indicated that miR-101 overexpression inhibited cell proliferation indicated by the MTT assay and promoted apoptosis detected via flow cytometry. Importantly, mRNA expression of NF-kappa B-regulated anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, MCL-1, XIAP, and survivin) and proliferative (c-Myc and CCND1) genes was decreased. These findings suggest that miR-101 acts as a tumor suppressor by downregulating Jak2 expression and sensitizing K562 cells to imatinib. Therefore, restoration of miR-101 may be a therapeutic approach for CML treatment.

Sun Q, Zhang W, Guo Y, et al.
Curcumin inhibits cell growth and induces cell apoptosis through upregulation of miR-33b in gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13177-13184 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this work, the in vitro experiments about biological mechanisms of curcumin were conducted using the gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901 and BGC-823. After 24-h exposure to curcumin at the concentrations of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 40 μmol/L, two cells showed the decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis abilities. Real-time PCR, Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, western blotting, and cell apoptosis assay were used to further study the underlying mechanisms of curcumin. The first stage of our studies showed that curcumin affected the expression of miR-33b, which, in turn, affected the expression of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) messenger RNA (mRNA). Next, curcumin was also identified to regulate the proliferation and apoptosis of SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells. Further bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assays proved that XIAP was one of the target genes of miR-33b. In the next stage, SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells were treated with 20 μL curcumin, miR-33b mimics, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) of XIAP, respectively. The results showed that curcumin had similar effects on cell growth and apoptosis as the upregulation of miR-33b and the upregulation of the siRNA of XIAP. The results that followed from the restore experiments showed that curcumin affected cell growth and apoptosis presumably by upregulating the XIAP targeting in gastric cancer. Collectively, our results indicate that curcumin-miR-33b-XIAP coupling might be an important mechanism by which curcumin induces the apoptosis of SGC-7901 and BGC-823 cells.

Jagadish N, Gupta N, Agarwal S, et al.
Sperm-associated antigen 9 (SPAG9) promotes the survival and tumor growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13101-13110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, we demonstrated the association of sperm-associated antigen 9 (SPAG9) expression with breast cancer. Among breast cancer, 15 % of the cancers are diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) based on hormone receptor status and represent an important clinical challenge because of lack of effective available targeted therapy. Therefore, in the present investigation, plasmid-based small hairpin (small hairpin RNA (shRNA)) approach was used to ablate SPAG9 in aggressive breast cancer cell line model (MDA-MB-231) in order to understand the role of SPAG9 at molecular level in apoptosis, cell cycle, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling. Our data in MDA-MB-231 cells showed that ablation of SPAG9 resulted in membrane blebbing, increased mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation, phosphatidyl serine surface expression, and caspase activation. SPAG9 depletion also resulted in cell cycle arrest in G0-G1 phase and induced cellular senescence. In addition, in in vitro and in vivo xenograft studies, ablation of SPAG9 resulted in upregulation of p21 along with pro-apoptotic molecules such as BAK, BAX, BIM, BID, NOXA, AIF, Cyto-C, PARP1, APAF1, Caspase 3, and Caspase 9 and epithelial marker, E-cadherin. Also, SPAG9-depleted cells showed downregulation of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, cyclin E, CDK1, CDK4, CDK6, BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP, cIAP2, MCL1, GRP78, SLUG, SNAIL, TWIST, vimentin, N-cadherin, MMP2, MMP3, MMP9, SMA, and β-catenin. Collectively, our data suggests that SPAG9 promotes tumor growth by inhibiting apoptosis, altering cell cycle, and enhancing EMT signaling in in vitro cells and in vivo mouse model. Hence, SPAG9 may be a potential novel target for therapeutic use in TNBC treatment.

Asif M, Shafaei A, Jafari SF, et al.
Isoledene from Mesua ferrea oleo-gum resin induces apoptosis in HCT 116 cells through ROS-mediated modulation of multiple proteins in the apoptotic pathways: A mechanistic study.
Toxicol Lett. 2016; 257:84-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common human malignant tumors worldwide. Arising from the transformation of epithelial cells in the colon and/or rectum into malignant cells, the foundation of CRC pathogenesis lies in the progressive accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes, such as KRAS and APC. Resistance to apoptosis is one of the key mechanisms in the development of CRC as it is for any other kind of cancer. Natural products have been shown to induce the expression of apoptosis regulators that are blocked in cancer cells. In the present study, a series of in vitro assays were employed to study the apoptosis-inducing attributes of Isoledene rich sub-fraction (IR-SF) collected from the oleo-gum resin of M. ferrea. Data obtained, showed that IR-SF inhibited cell proliferation and induced typical apoptotic changes in the overall morphology of all the CRC cell lines tested. Fluorescent staining assays revealed characteristic nuclear condensation, and marked decrease in mitochondrial outer membrane potential in the treated cells. In addition, an increment in the levels of ROS, caspase-8, -9 and -3 was observed. Proteomic analysis revealed that IR-SF up-regulated the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, i.e., Bid, Bim and cytochrome c. Cytochrome c in turn activated caspases cascade resulting in the induction of apoptosis. Moreover, IR-SF significantly down-regulated Bcl-2, Bcl-w, survivin, xIAP and HSPs pro-survival proteins and induced DNA fragmentation and G0/G1-phase arrest in HCT 116 cells. Chemical characterization of IR-SF by GC-MS and HPLC methods identified Isoledene as one of the major compounds. Altogether, results of the present study demonstrate that IR-SF may induce apoptosis in human colorectal carcinoma cells through activation of ROS-mediated apoptotic pathways.

Han J, Liu Z, Wang N, Pan W
MicroRNA-874 inhibits growth, induces apoptosis and reverses chemoresistance in colorectal cancer by targeting X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):542-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-874 (miR-874) is downregulated and acts as a tumor suppressor in several types of cancers, whereas the biological function of miR-874 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. The aims of the present study were to investigate the clinical significance, biological effects, and the underlying mechanisms of miR-874 in CRC. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was used to detect miR-874 expression in CRC cell lines and tissue samples. MTT and colony formation assays and flow cytometry were performed to analyze the effects of miR-874 expression on growth, apoptosis and the chemoresistance of CRC cells. Regulation of putative miR-874 targets was determined by dual-luciferase reporter assays. RT-qPCR and western blot assays were performed to detected the levels of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) mRNA and protein expression. It was found that expression of miR-874 was downregulated in CRC tissues and cell lines, and its expression was significantly negatively correlated with TNM stage and lymph node metastasis of the CRC patients. Functional assays revealed that restoration of miR-874 inhibited proliferation, reduced colony formation, enhanced apoptosis, as well as decreased the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) resistance of the CRC cells. Through luciferase activity assay, RT-qPCR and western blot analysis, XIAP was shown to be a direct target of miR-874. In addition, XIAP expression was significantly increased in the CRC tissues and cell lines, and was inversely correlated with miR-874 expression. Importantly, downregulation of XIAP in CRC cells had an effect similar to that of miR-874 overexpression. Taken together, these data showed that miR-874 inhibits growth, increases apoptosis and enhances chemosensitivity in CRC cells by targeting XIAP, suggesting that miR-874 may be a potential molecular target for the treatment of human CRC.

Li K, Li X, Wu Z, et al.
Adenovirus encoding XAF-1 and TNF‑α in the same open reading frame efficiently inhibits hepatocellular cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 13(6):5169-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
X‑linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP)‑associated factor 1 (XAF‑1), a tumor suppressor, is downregulated in most human malignant tumors. However, the tumor suppressive role of XAF‑1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its therapeutic value require further elucidation. The present study examined the expression of XAF‑1 at the mRNA and protein level in the HCC and paired peritumor tissue specimens, as well as in HCC cell lines and a normal liver cell line. A recombinant adenovirus which co‑expressed XAF‑1 and TNF‑α was then constructed, and its effects on the proliferation and colony formation ability of the MHCC97H HCC cell line were assessed using apoptosis induction, flow cytometry, trypan blue staining assay and a clonogenic assay. The results demonstrated that the expression of XAF‑1 was significantly reduced in HCC tissues compared with that in their matched peritumor specimens, and a significant correlation with the tumor size, stage and tumor ‑ nodes ‑ metastasis stage was identified. The reduced levels of XAF‑1 were further confirmed the HCC cell lines MHCC97L, HepG2 and MHCC97H compared with those in the L02 normal liver cell line. The recombinant adenovirus Ad‑XAF‑1&TNF‑α, which co‑expressed XAF‑1 and TNF‑α, was shown to efficiently express the two proteins at the mRNA and protein level. Furthermore, infection with Ad‑XAF‑1&TNF‑α synergistically induced apoptosis, reduced the proliferation and colony formation ability of MHCC97L cells to a significantly greater extent than overexpression of XAF‑1 or TNF‑α individually. To the best of our knowledge, the present study was the first to construct an adenovirus which co‑expressed XAF‑1 and TNF‑α in the same open reading frame and expressed them proportionally. As Ad‑XAF‑1&TNF‑α inhibited HCC cells with enhanced efficiency, it may be applicable for the treatment of HCC.

Takeda T, Tsubaki M, Kino T, et al.
Mangiferin enhances the sensitivity of human multiple myeloma cells to anticancer drugs through suppression of the nuclear factor κB pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2704-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is still an incurable hematological malignancy with a 5-year survival rate of ~35%, despite the use of various treatment options. The nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of MM. Thus, inhibition of the NF-κB pathway is a potential target for the treatment of MM. In a previous study, we showed that mangiferin suppressed the nuclear translocation of NF-κB. However, the treatment of MM involves a combination of two or three drugs. In this study, we examined the effect of the combination of mangiferin and conventional anticancer drugs in an MM cell line. We showed that the combination of mangiferin and an anticancer drug decreased the viability of MM cell lines in comparison with each drug used separately. The decrease in the combination of mangiferin and an anticancer drug induced cell viability was attributed to increase the expression of p53 and Noxa and decreases the expression of XIAP, survivin, and Bcl-xL proteins via inhibition of NF-κB pathway. In addition, the combination treatment caused the induction of apoptosis, activation of caspase-3 and the accumulation of the cells in the sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle. Our findings suggest that the combination of mangiferin and an anticancer drug could be used as a new regime for the treatment of MM.

Li C, Jung S, Yang Y, et al.
Inhibitory role of TRIP-Br1 oncoprotein in hypoxia-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2639-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
TRIP-Br1 oncoprotein is known to be involved in many vital cellular functions. In this study, we examined the role of TRIP-Br1 in hypoxia-induced cell death. Exposure to the overcrowded and CoCl2-induced hypoxic conditions increased TRIP-Br1 expression at the protein level in six breast cancer cell lines (MCF7, MDA-MB-231, T47D, Hs578D, BT549, and MDA-MB-435) but resulted in no significant change in three normal cell lines (MCF10A, MEF and NIH3T3). Our result revealed that CoCl2-induced hypoxia stimulated apoptosis and autophagy, in which TRIP-Br1 expression was found to be upregulated. Interestingly, TRIP-Br1 silencing in the MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells accelerated apoptosis and destabilization of XIAP under the CoCl2-induced hypoxic condition, implying that TRIP-Br1 may render cancer cells resistant to apoptosis through the stabilization of XIAP. We also propose that TRIP-Br1 seems to be upregulated at least partly as a result of the inhibition of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and the overexpression of HIF-1α. In conclusion, our findings suggest that TRIP-Br1 functions as an oncogenic protein by providing cancer cells resistance to the hypoxia-induced cell death.

Takeda T, Tsubaki M, Kino T, et al.
Mangiferin induces apoptosis in multiple myeloma cell lines by suppressing the activation of nuclear factor kappa B-inducing kinase.
Chem Biol Interact. 2016; 251:26-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mangiferin is a naturally occurring glucosyl xanthone, which induces apoptosis in various cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanism underlying mangiferin-induced apoptosis has not been clarified thus far. Therefore, we examined the molecular mechanism underlying mangiferin-induced apoptosis in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines. We found that mangiferin decreased the viability of MM cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. We also observed an increased number of apoptotic cells, caspase-3 activation, and a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, mangiferin inhibited the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and expression of phosphorylated inhibitor kappa B (IκB) and increased the expression of IκB protein, whereas no changes were observed in the phosphorylation levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The molecular mechanism responsible for mangiferin-induced inhibition of nuclear translocation of NF-κB was a decrease in the expression of phosphorylated NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK). Moreover, mangiferin decreased the expression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), survivin, and Bcl-xL proteins. Knockdown of NIK expression showed results similar to those observed with mangiferin treatment. Our results suggest that mangiferin induces apoptosis through the inhibition of nuclear translocation of NF-κB by suppressing NIK activation in MM cell lines. Our results provide a new insight into the molecular mechanism of mangiferin-induced apoptosis. Importantly, since the number of reported NIK inhibitors is limited, mangiferin, which targets NIK, may be a potential anticancer agent for the treatment of MM.

Oh E, Kim JY, Cho Y, et al.
Overexpression of angiotensin II type 1 receptor in breast cancer cells induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1863(6 Pt A):1071-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The angiotensin II type I receptor (AGTR1) has been implicated in diverse aspects of human disease, from the regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular homeostasis to cancer progression. We sought to investigate the role of AGTR1 in cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration, invasion, angiogenesis and tumor growth in the breast cancer cell line MCF7. Stable overexpression of AGTR1 was associated with accelerated cell proliferation, concomitant with increased expression of survival factors including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP), as well as extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. AGTR1-overexpressing MCF7 cells were more aggressive than their parent line, with significantly increased activity in migration and invasion assays. These observations were associated with changes in EMT markers, including reduced E-cadherin expression and increased p-Smad3, Smad4 and Snail levels. Treatment with the AGTR1 antagonist losartan attenuated these effects. AGTR1 overexpression also accelerated tumor growth and increased Ki-67 expression in a xenograft model. This was associated with increased tumor angiogenesis, as evidenced by a significant increase in microvessels in the intratumoral and peritumoral areas, and enhanced tumor invasion, with the latter response associated with increased EMT marker expression and matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) upregulation. In vivo administration of losartan significantly reduced both tumor growth and angiogenesis. Our findings suggest that AGTR1 plays a significant role in tumor aggressiveness, and its inhibition may have therapeutic implications.

Ren C, Ren T, Yang K, et al.
Inhibition of SOX2 induces cell apoptosis and G1/S arrest in Ewing's sarcoma through the PI3K/Akt pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing's sarcoma is an aggressive bone and soft tissue tumor with a high incidence in children and adolescents. Due to its high malignancy and poor prognosis, identification of novel biomarkers for intervention therapies is necessary to improve outcome. The EWS/FLI1 fusion gene is a characteristic of Ewing's sarcoma in most cases. Sex determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2) is a primary target of EWS/FLI1. It has been identified as an oncogene and linked to apoptotic resistance in several types of cancer. However, its role and regulatory mechanisms in Ewing's sarcoma are largely unknown.
METHODS: We systematically investigated the role of SOX2 in Ewing's sarcoma cell lines, human tissue samples and xenograft models. The expression of SOX2 was detected in Ewing's sarcoma samples by WB and IHC. siRNAs were used to knockdown EWS/FLI1 and SOX2 in A673 and RD-ES cell lines with the efficiencies tested by qRT-PCR and WB. The effect of SOX2 on cell cycle and apoptosis was determined by Flow cytometric and TUNEL assays. Akt overexpression was performed with plasmid. The protein expression of the corresponding factors was examined by WB analysis. Inhibition of SOX2 in vivo was performed by siRNA against SOX2 in xenograft models, and the protein expression of the regulators testified in vitro was examined in xenograft tumors by IHC and WB.
RESULTS: The results confirmed that SOX2 was highly expressed in Ewing's sarcoma and was the target of EWS/FLI1. SOX2 advanced Ewing's sarcoma cell survival and proliferation by regulating p21, p27 and cyclin-E to facilitate G1/S phase transition and mediating caspase-3, PARP via both extrinsic (Fas and caspase-8) and intrinsic (caspase-9, Bad, Bcl-2 and XIAP) apoptotic pathways to restrain cell apoptosis. Additionally, SOX2 regulated the cell-cycle progression and apoptosis via activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. The mechanisms were proved both in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that SOX2 played a central role in promoting Ewing's sarcoma cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo with the underlying mechanisms expounded. These findings suggest that SOX2 may serve as a potential biomarker for targeted intervention in Ewing's sarcoma.

Gerges S, Rohde K, Fulda S
Cotreatment with Smac mimetics and demethylating agents induces both apoptotic and necroptotic cell death pathways in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 375(1):127-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is often caused by defects in programmed cell death, e.g. by overexpression of Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins. Here, we report that small-molecule Smac mimetics (i.e. BV6, LCL161, birinapant) that neutralize x-linked IAP (XIAP), cellular IAP (cIAP)1 and cIAP2 cooperate with demethylating agents (i.e. 5-azacytidine (5AC) or 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC)) to induce cell death in ALL cells. Molecular studies reveal that induction of cell death is preceded by BV6-mediated depletion of cIAP1 protein and involves tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α autocrine/paracrine signaling, since the TNFα-blocking antibody Enbrel significantly reduces BV6/5AC-induced cell death. While BV6/5AC cotreatment induces caspase-3 activation, the broad-range caspase inhibitor N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (zVAD.fmk) only partly rescues ALL cells from BV6/5AC-induced cell death. This indicates that BV6/5AC cotreatment engages non-apoptotic cell death upon caspase inhibition. Indeed, genetic silencing of key components of necroptosis such as Receptor-Interacting Protein (RIP)3 or mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL) in parallel with administration of zVAD.fmk provides a significantly better protection against BV6/5AC-induced cell death compared to the use of zVAD.fmk alone. Similarly, concomitant administration of pharmacological inhibitors of necroptosis (i.e. necrostatin-1s, GSK'872, dabrafenib, NSA) together with zVAD.fmk is superior in rescuing cells from BV6/5AC-induced cell death compared to the use of zVAD.fmk alone. These findings demonstrate that in ALL cells BV6/5AC-induced cell death is mediated via both apoptotic and necroptotic pathways. Importantly, BV6/5AC cotreatment triggers necroptosis in ALL cells that are resistant to apoptosis due to caspase inhibition. This opens new perspectives to overcome apoptosis resistance with important implications for the development of new treatment strategies for ALL.

Cheng X, Shi W, Zhao C, et al.
Triptolide sensitizes human breast cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor‑α‑induced apoptosis by inhibiting activation of the nuclear factor‑κB pathway.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 13(4):3257-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor necrosis factor‑α (TNF‑α) can act as either a tumor promoter, linking inflammation with carcinogenesis, or a tumor inhibitor, inducing cancer cell death. However, several types of cancer, including breast cancer, are resistant to TNF‑α therapy. Triptolide, a diterpene triepoxide, has been reported to exert anti‑inflammatory and antiproliferative effects, associated with the inhibition of nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB). The present study investigated the effects of triptolide sensitization on human breast cancer cells to TNF‑α‑induced apoptosis by inhibiting activation of the NF‑κB pathway. Human breast cancer MDA‑MB‑231 cells and MCF‑7 cells were treated with different concentrations of triptolide, with or without 10 ng/ml TNF‑α, for different durations, followed by measurement of cell proliferation using a 3‑[4,5‑dimethyltiazol‑2‑yl]‑2.5‑diphenyl‑tetrazolium bromide assay, apoptosis induction, through determination of caspase‑3 activity and poly (ADP‑ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, and NF‑κB pathway activation, through determination of inhibitor of NF‑κB (IκB) and the NF‑κB downstream genes, X‑linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein1/2 (cIAP1/2)] using Western blot and reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses. TNF‑α, when combined with triptolide, was observed to inhibit the activation of IκBα, increase the level of cleaved PARP, and further activate caspase‑3 in the breast cancer cells. Triptolide also inhibited the expression levels of the downstream anti‑apoptotic genes of NF‑κB activation, XIAP and cIAP1/2. The results of the present study demonstrated that triptolide sensitized human breast cancer cells to TNF‑α‑induced apoptosis, which may provide a promising combination strategy for human breast cancer therapeutics.

Venkatadri R, Muni T, Iyer AK, et al.
Role of apoptosis-related miRNAs in resveratrol-induced breast cancer cell death.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7:e2104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, and one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Recent evidences indicate that dietary agents such as resveratrol may inhibit cancer progression through modulation of microRNAs (miRNAs). We demonstrate that resveratrol regulates apoptotic and cell cycle machinery in breast cancer cells by modulating key tumor-suppressive miRNAs including miR-125b-5p, miR-200c-3p, miR-409-3p, miR-122-5p and miR-542-3p. Resveratrol-mediated miRNA modulation regulates key anti-apoptotic and cell cycle proteins including Bcl-2, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein and CDKs, which are critical for its activity. Modulating miRNAs with mimics or inhibitors further validated a key role for miR-542-3p in MCF-7 and miR-122-5p in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell death in response to resveratrol. In conclusion, this study reveals novel miRNAs modulated by resveratrol that have a key role in breast cancer cell death.

Kline CL, Van den Heuvel AP, Allen JE, et al.
ONC201 kills solid tumor cells by triggering an integrated stress response dependent on ATF4 activation by specific eIF2α kinases.
Sci Signal. 2016; 9(415):ra18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ONC201 (also called TIC10) is a small molecule that inactivates the cell proliferation- and cell survival-promoting kinases Akt and ERK and induces cell death through the proapoptotic protein TRAIL. ONC201 is currently in early-phase clinical testing for various malignancies. We found through gene expression and protein analyses that ONC201 triggered an increase in TRAIL abundance and cell death through an integrated stress response (ISR) involving the transcription factor ATF4, the transactivator CHOP, and the TRAIL receptor DR5. ATF4 was not activated in ONC201-resistant cancer cells, and in ONC201-sensitive cells, knockdown of ATF4 or CHOP partially abrogated ONC201-induced cytotoxicity and diminished the ONC201-stimulated increase in DR5 abundance. The activation of ATF4 in response to ONC201 required the kinases HRI and PKR, which phosphorylate and activate the translation initiation factor eIF2α. ONC201 rapidly triggered cell cycle arrest, which was associated with decreased abundance of cyclin D1, decreased activity of the kinase complex mTORC1, and dephosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein. The abundance of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) negatively correlated with the extent of apoptosis in response to ONC201. These effects of ONC201 were independent of whether cancer cells had normal or mutant p53. Thus, ONC201 induces cell death through the coordinated induction of TRAIL by an ISR pathway.

Duan C, Zhang B, Deng C, et al.
Piperlongumine induces gastric cancer cell apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest both in vitro and in vivo.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10793-804 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, several studies have shown that piperlongumine (PL) can selectively kill cancer cells by targeting reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the potential therapeutic effects and detailed mechanism of PL in gastric cancer are still not clear. In the current report, we found that PL significantly suppressed gastric cancer both in vitro and in vivo. PL obviously increased ROS generation in gastric cancer cells. Anti-oxidant glutathione (GSH) and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) can abrogate PL-induced gastric cancer cell death and proliferation inhibition. GADD45α was induced in PL-treated cancer cells and led to G2/M phase arrest, whereas genetic depletion of GADD45α by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) could partly reverse PL-induced cell cycle arrest in gastric cancer cells. Interestingly, we also found that PL treatment decreased the expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene, which plays an essential role in cancer initiation and progression. Our findings thus revealed a potential anti-tumor effect of PL on gastric cancer cells and may have therapeutic implications.

Zhu F, Dai C, Fu Y, et al.
Physalin A exerts anti-tumor activity in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines by suppressing JAK/STAT3 signaling.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(8):9462-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway plays critical roles in the pathogenesis and progression of various human cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of physalin A, a bioactive withanolide derived from Physalis alkekengi var. francheti used in traditional Chinese medicine, was evaluated in human NSCLC cells. Its and determined whether it effect oninhibited both constitutive and induced STAT3 activity, through repressing the phosphorylation levels of JAK2 and JAK3, resulting in anti-proliferation and pro-apoptotic effects on NSCLC cells was also determined, and. theThe antitumor effects of physalin A were also validated usingin an in vivo mouse xenograft models of NSCLC cells. Physalin A had anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in NSCLC cells with constitutively activated STAT3; it also suppressed both constitutive and induced STAT3 activity by modulating the phosphorylation of JAK2 and JAK3. Furthermore, physalin A abrogated the nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity of STAT3, thereby decreasing the expression levels of STAT3, its target genes, such as Bcl-2 and XIAP. Knockdown of STAT3 expression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly enhanced the pro-apoptotic effects of physalin A in NSCLC cells. Moreover, physalin A significantly suppressed tumor xenograft growth. Thus, as an inhibitor of JAK2/3-STAT3 signaling, physalin A, has potent anti-tumor activities, which may facilitate the development of a therapeutic strategy for treating NSCLC.

Li L, Fan B, Zhang LH, et al.
Trichostatin A potentiates TRAIL-induced antitumor effects via inhibition of ERK/FOXM1 pathway in gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10269-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an ideal apoptosis inducer and believed to have promise in cancer therapy, yet part of cancer cells exhibit resistance to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. This necessitates the exploration of agents that resensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL. In our study, we found that Trichostatin A (TSA), an histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, augmented TRAIL-induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells in a caspase-dependent manner. Besides, upregulation of DR5 and downregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins including XIAP, Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and Survivin also contributed to this synergism. Noticeably, TSA treatment inhibited Forkhead boxM1 (FOXM1), which expression level showed negative correlation with TRAIL sensitivity. Similarly, silencing of FOXM1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) resensitized cancer cells to TRAIL and strengthened the TRAIL-augmenting effect of TSA. In addition, we demonstrated the depletion of FOXM1 was a consequence of the inactivation of ERK mediated by TSA. Collectively, it was first shown that TSA potentiated TRAIL sensitivity via ERK/FOXM1 pathway in gastric cancer cells. FOXM1 might serve as a biomarker for predicting sensitivity to TRAIL.

Evans MK, Sauer SJ, Nath S, et al.
X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein mediates tumor cell resistance to antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7:e2073 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the deadliest, distinct subtype of breast cancer. High expression of epidermal growth factor receptors [EGFR or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)] in IBC tumors has prompted trials of anti-EGFR/HER2 monoclonal antibodies to inhibit oncogenic signaling; however, de novo and acquired therapeutic resistance is common. Another critical function of these antibodies is to mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), which enables immune effector cells to engage tumors and deliver granzymes, activating executioner caspases. We hypothesized that high expression of anti-apoptotic molecules in tumors would render them resistant to ADCC. Herein, we demonstrate that the most potent caspase inhibitor, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), overexpressed in IBC, drives resistance to ADCC mediated by cetuximab (anti-EGFR) and trastuzumab (anti-HER2). Overexpression of XIAP in parental IBC cell lines enhances resistance to ADCC; conversely, targeted downregulation of XIAP in ADCC-resistant IBC cells renders them sensitive. As hypothesized, this ADCC resistance is in part a result of the ability of XIAP to inhibit caspase activity; however, we also unexpectedly found that resistance was dependent on XIAP-mediated, caspase-independent suppression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, which otherwise occurs during ADCC. Transcriptome analysis supported these observations by revealing modulation of genes involved in immunosuppression and oxidative stress response in XIAP-overexpressing, ADCC-resistant cells. We conclude that XIAP is a critical modulator of ADCC responsiveness, operating through both caspase-dependent and -independent mechanisms. These results suggest that strategies targeting the effects of XIAP on caspase activation and ROS suppression have the potential to enhance the activity of monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapy.

Chen W, Zeng W, Li X, et al.
MicroRNA-509-3p increases the sensitivity of epithelial ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis.
Pharmacogenomics. 2016; 17(3):187-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: XIAP is upregulated in chemoresistant epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, the molecular mechanism of this dysregulation remains unclear.
MATERIALS & METHODS: The regulation of XIAP by miR-509-3p was investigated by luciferase reporter assay, real-time PCR and immunobloting, and the roles of miR-509-3p in cellular proliferation and apoptosis were accessed through MTT and DAPI assays.
RESULTS: miR-509-3p, a downregulated miRNA in chemoresistant EOC, can directly target the XIAP via its 3'UTR. Overexpression of miR-509-3p can not only downregulate the expression of XIAP in ovarian cancer cells but also inhibit the proliferation of EOC cells and increase their sensitivity to cisplatin-induced apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that restoring certain dysregulated miRNAs to their normal levels could increase the therapeutic effects of anticancer drugs.

Chen W, Huang L, Hao C, et al.
MicroRNA-155 promotes apoptosis in SKOV3, A2780, and primary cultured ovarian cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(7):9289-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a large group of small non-coding RNAs that can negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The deregulation of miRNAs has been associated with tumorigenesis, drug resistance, and prognosis in cancers. Deregulated miR-155 has been reported in numerous cancers; however, its function remains unclear. 4',6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining and terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling (TUNEL) techniques were used to determine the effects of a miR-155 mimic or inhibitor on the apoptotic ratio of ovarian cancer cells induced by cisplatin. Bioinformatic predictions, the dual-luciferase reporter assay, and western blot analysis were used to detect how miR-155 regulates X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP). We demonstrated that a miR-155 mimic could decrease the IC50 value of cisplatin in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Subsequently, gain- and loss-of-function analyses with a miR-155 mimic and inhibitor showed that miR-155 sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin. Furthermore, the results from the luciferase assays and western blot analysis identified XIAP as the direct target of miR-155. In addition, introducing XIAP cDNA without a three prime untranslated region (3'-UTR) rescued the miR-155 promotion of apoptosis. These results indicate that miR-155 mediates cisplatin-induced apoptosis by targeting XIAP in ovarian cancer cells and that miR-155 could be a potential therapeutic target to increase the efficiency of ovarian cancer interventions.

Cousin FJ, Jouan-Lanhouet S, Théret N, et al.
The probiotic Propionibacterium freudenreichii as a new adjuvant for TRAIL-based therapy in colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(6):7161-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) is a well-known apoptosis inducer, which activates the extrinsic death pathway. TRAIL is pro-apoptotic on colon cancer cells, while not cytotoxic towards normal healthy cells. However, its clinical use is limited by cell resistance to cell death which occurs in approximately 50% of cancer cells. Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) are also known to specifically induce apoptosis of cancer cells. In accordance, we have shown that food grade dairy propionibacteria induce intrinsic apoptosis of colon cancer cells, via the production and release of SCFA (propionate and acetate) acting on mitochondria. Here, we investigated possible synergistic effect between Propionibacterium freudenreichii and TRAIL. Indeed, we hypothesized that acting on both extrinsic and intrinsic death pathways may exert a synergistic pro-apoptotic effect. Whole transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that propionibacterial supernatant or propionibacterial metabolites (propionate and acetate), in combination with TRAIL, increased pro-apoptotic gene expression (TRAIL-R2/DR5) and decreased anti-apoptotic gene expression (FLIP, XIAP) in HT29 human colon cancer cells. The revealed synergistic pro-apoptotic effect, depending on both death receptors (TRAIL-R1/DR4, TRAIL-R2/DR5) and caspases (caspase-8, -9 and -3) activation, was lethal on cancer cells but not on normal human intestinal epithelial cells (HIEC), and was inhibited by Bcl-2 expression. Finally, milk fermented by P. freudenreichii induced HT29 cells apoptosis and enhanced TRAIL cytotoxic activity, as did P. freudenreichii DMEM culture supernatants or its SCFA metabolites. These results open new perspectives for food grade P. freudenreichii-containing products in order to potentiate TRAIL-based cancer therapy in colorectal cancer.

Wang P, Yin T, Li J, et al.
Ultrasound-responsive microbubbles for sonography-guided siRNA delivery.
Nanomedicine. 2016; 12(4):1139-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA interfering is a gene therapeutic approach of great potential for cancer. However, tumor-targeted delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) solely based on the enhanced permeability and retention effect of nanocarriers is often insufficient. To address this challenge, siRNA encapsulated ultrasound-responsive microbubble (MB) was developed from polymeric siRNA micelles and liposomal MBs using hetero-assembling strategy. 1MHz low-frequency ultrasound exposure of the tumor site after intratumoral injection of XIAP siRNA/MBs led to enhanced permeability for much more siRNA delivery into deep tumor regions. Significant improvement of XIAP gene silencing and cleaved caspase-3 activation was achieved, resulting in good therapeutic effect on human cervical cancer xenograft model in nude mice. Moreover, real-time US monitoring of the tumor was also possible using the siRNA/MBs as a contrast agent during the therapeutic process. These results show that the multi-functional siRNA/MBs are a promising theranostic system for cancer gene therapy.

Werner K, Lademann F, Thepkaysone ML, et al.
Simultaneous gene silencing of KRAS and anti-apoptotic genes as a multitarget therapy.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):3984-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal tumor types worldwide and an effective therapy is still elusive. Targeted therapy focused against a specific alteration is by definition unable to attack broad pathway signaling modification. Tumor heterogeneity will render targeted therapies ineffective based on the regrowth of cancer cell sub-clones. Therefore multimodal therapy strategies, targeting signaling pathways simultaneously should improve treatment.SiRNAs against KRAS and the apoptosis associated genes BCLXL, FLIP, MCL1L, SURVIVIN and XIAP were transfected into human and murine pancreatic cancer cell lines. Induction of apoptosis was measured by Caspase 3/7 activation, subG1 FACS analysis and PARP cleavage. The therapeutic approach was tested in a subcutaneous allograft model with a murine cancer cell line.By using siRNAs as a systematic approach to remodel signal transduction in pancreatic cancer the results showed increasing inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis induction in vitro and in vivo. Thus, siRNAs are suitable to model multimodal therapy against signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer. Improvements in in vivo delivery of siRNAs against a multitude of targets might therefore be a potential therapeutic approach.

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