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Cell death & disease

Medicarpin, a legume phytoalexin sensitizes myeloid leukemia cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the induction of DR5 and activation of the ROS-JNK-CHOP pathway.


PMID 25321472

Abstract

Tumor necrosis factor α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anticancer agent with cancer cell-selective cell death inducing effect. However, the major limitation in the usage of TRAIL as a chemotherapeutic agent is the development of TRAIL resistance in many cancer types including myeloid leukemia. In this study, we report for the first time that Medicarpin (Med), a naturally occurring phytoalexin sensitizes myeloid leukemia cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Combination of Med and TRAIL induced significantly higher apoptosis compared with that of the individual treatments of either agent alone through activation of both the extrinsic and the intrinsic cell death pathways characterized by the activation of caspases 8, 9, 3, and 7. Med treatment downregulated antiapoptotic proteins (Survivin, Bcl2, Bcl-xL, XIAP, and c-FLIP), upregulated pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax, Cytochrome C, Smac/Diablo, Bid, truncated Bid (tBid), p-eIF2α, Bip, and CHOP (CCAAT-enhancer binding protein homologous protein)), induced G2/M cell-cycle arrest, and increased the expression of the functional TRAIL receptor DR5 through activation of the ROS-JNK-CHOP pathway. Gain and loss of function studies clearly indicated that DR5 expression was critical for Med-induced TRAIL sensitization. The Med-induced TRAIL sensitization did not involve the NFkB signaling pathway or redistribution of DR5 in lipid rafts. The concomitant treatment with Med and TRAIL showed robust apoptotic effects in primary myeloid leukemia cells but had no toxic effects in primary human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In conclusion, our results suggest that Med sensitizes myeloid leukemia cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the upregulation of DR5 through activation of the ROS-JNK-CHOP pathway.

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