Clinical & translational oncology : official publication of the Federation of Spanish Oncology Societies and of the National Cancer Institute of Mexico

Immunotherapy with liposome-bound TRAIL overcomes partial protection to soluble TRAIL-induced apoptosis offered by down-regulation of Bim in leukemic cells.

PMID 25967100


Human Apo2-Ligand/TRAIL secreted by natural killer cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes plays an important role immunosurveillance controlling tumor growth and metastasis. Moreover, the fact that Apo2L/TRAIL is capable of inducing cell death in tumor cells but not in normal cells makes this death ligand a promising anti-tumor agent. Previous data from our group demonstrated that Apo2L/TRAIL was physiologically released as transmembrane protein inserted in lipid vesicles, called exosomes. Recently, we demonstrated that artificial lipid nanoparticles coated with bioactive Apo2L/TRAIL (LUV-TRAIL) resembling the natural exosomes, greatly improved Apo2L/TRAIL activity and were able to induce apoptosis in hematological malignancies. In this study, we have deepened in the underlying mechanism of action of LUV-TRAIL in hematologic cells. Cytotoxic ability of LUV-TRAIL was assessed on Jurkat cells either over-expressing the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl1 or down-regulating the pro-apoptotic protein Bim previously generated in our laboratory. We also tested LUV-TRAIL cytotoxic ability against primary human leukemic cells from T-cell ALL patient. Silencing Bim but not Mcl-1 over-expression partially protects Jurkat cells from apoptosis induced by sTRAIL. LUV-TRAIL induced caspase-8 and caspase-3 activation and killed Jurkat-Mcl1 and Jurkat-shBim more efficiently than sTRAIL independently of the mitochondrial pathway. On the other hand, LUV-TRAIL were clearly more cytotoxic against primary leukemic cells from a T-cell ALL patient than sTRAIL. Tethering Apo2L/TRAIL to the surface of lipid nanoparticles greatly increases its bioactivity and could be of potential use in anti-tumor therapeutics.