Cancer research

Enhancement of Fas-mediated apoptosis in renal cell carcinoma cells by adriamycin.

PMID 10850437


Anti-Fas monoclonal antibody (mAb) kills Fas-expressing cells by apoptosis. Several anticancer agents also mediate apoptosis and may share common intracellular pathways leading to apoptosis with Fas. Thus, we reasoned that combination treatment of drug-resistant cells with anti-Fas mAb and drugs might overcome their resistance. We investigated whether anticancer agents enhance Fas-mediated apoptosis and cytotoxicity against renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells. Treatment of ACHN RCC cells with anti-Fas mAb in combination with 5-fluorouracil, vinblastine, IFN-alpha, or IFN-gamma did not overcome resistance to these agents. However, combination treatment with anti-Fas mAb and Adriamycin (ADR) resulted in a synergistic cytotoxic effect. Furthermore, synergy was also obtained even when the exposure time was shortened from 24 h to 8 or 2 h. Synergy was also achieved in four other RCC cell lines and five freshly derived human RCC cells. Treatment with anti-Fas mAb in combination with epirubicin or pirarubicin also resulted in a synergistic cytotoxic effect on ACHN cells. Similar results were achieved with a combination of humanized anti-Fas mAb and ADR. Incubation of ACHN cells with ADR augmented the expression of Fas and p53, but not Bcl-2, Bax, or caspase-3. However, the activity of caspase-3 itself was apparently enhanced after treatment with ADR alone or combined treatment with anti-Fas mAb. The synergy obtained in cytotoxicity with anti-Fas mAb and ADR was also achieved in apoptosis. Exposure of ACHN cells and freshly derived RCC cells to ADR enhanced their susceptibility to lysis by peripheral blood lymphocytes and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. This study demonstrates that combination treatment of RCC cells with anti-Fas mAb and ADR might overcome their resistance. The sensitization required a low concentration of ADR and a short exposure time, thus supporting the potential in vivo application of a combination of ADR and anti-Fas mAb or immunotherapy in the treatment of ADR- and/or immunotherapy-resistant RCC.

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Pirarubicin, ≥95% (HPLC)