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Oncogene. 2001 Jun 28;20(29):3757-65.

TRAIL (APO-2L) induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells that is inhibitable by Bcl-2.

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Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas, TX 77030, USA.


To determine if TRAIL-induced apoptosis in human prostate tumor cells was suppressed by bcl-2, we compared the levels of apoptosis induced by recombinant human TRAIL in pairs of isogenic cell lines that do or do not express bcl-2. Three human prostate tumor cell lines (PC3, DU145 and LNCaP) and their bcl-2-expressing counterparts were tested for their susceptibility to TRAIL. Cells were exposed to TRAIL in the presence of cycloheximide which acted as a sensitizer. Apoptosis was induced rapidly in PC3 and DU145 neo-control transfected cells, whereas induction in LNCaP required 24 h. All three cell line variants expressing bcl-2 were resistant to the apoptotic effects of TRAIL. Caspase 3 and 8 activation was also detected in the neo control cells after treatment with TRAIL, demonstrating the rapid activation of the caspase cascade similar to that seen with other death receptors. Bcl-2 overexpression in these cells blocked activation of these caspases, suggesting that bcl-2 expression of human cancer cells may be a critical factor in the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL.

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