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Int J Oncol. 2001 Jan;18(1):187-94.

Failure of Bcl-2 to block mitochondrial dysfunction during TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Tumor necrosis-related apoptosis-inducing ligand.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, Greenebaum Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Tumor necrosis (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the TNF family of cytokines that promotes apoptosis. TRAIL induces apoptosis in a wide variety of tumor cells but not in normal cells. Oncogene Bcl-2 can protect cells from apoptosis induced by various stress stimuli. However, it is not clear whether Bcl-2 can regulate TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether Bcl-2 can regulate apoptosis induced by TRAIL. TRAIL initiates the activation of caspases, the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Delta psi(m)), and the redistribution of mitochondrial cytochrome c. TRAIL has no effect on Delta psi(m) and apoptosis in Jurkat cells deficient in either FADD or caspase-8, suggesting both FADD and caspase-8 are required for TRAIL signaling. Overexpression of Bcl-2 delays, but does not inhibit, TRAIL-induced Delta psi(m), cytochrome c release from mitochondria and apoptosis, whereas etoposide-induced apoptosis is blocked by Bcl-2. XIAP, cowpox virus CrmA and baculovirus p35 inhibits TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These data suggest that TRAIL can be used to kill Bcl-2 positive cells that can not be killed by other class of chemotherapeutic drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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