Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 13;279(7):6065-76. Epub 2003 Nov 25.

Evidence that receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB ligand can suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis through activation of a NF-kappaB-independent and TRAF6-dependent mechanism.

Author information

Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmunotherapy, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL), a recently identified member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, has been shown to induce osteoclastogenesis and dendritic cell survival. Most members of the TNF superfamily suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis, but whether RANKL does so is not known. We demonstrate that treatment of monocyte RAW 264.7 cells with RANKL induces dose-dependent growth inhibition (IC50 = 10 ng/ml) as determined by dye uptake and [3H]thymidine incorporation methods. Suppression of RANKL-induced NF-kappaB activation by dominant-negative IkappaBalpha or by the NEMO-peptide had no effect on RANKL-induced cell growth inhibition. Inhibition of RANKL-induced JNK activation, however, abolished the RANKL-induced apoptosis. Suppression of interaction of RANK with TRAF6 by TRAF6-binding peptide abrogated the anti-proliferative effects of RANKL, suggesting the critical role of TRAF6. Flow cytometric analysis of cells treated with RANKL showed accumulation of cells in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, and this accumulation correlated with a decline in the levels of cyclin D1, cyclin D3, and cyclin E and an increase in cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 (Kip). Flow cytometric analysis showed the presence of annexin V-positive cells in cultures treated with RANKL. RANKL-induced apoptosis was further confirmed using calcein AM/ethidium homodimer-1 dye and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), procaspase 3, and procaspase 9; benzyloxycarbonyl-VAD, the pancaspase inhibitor, suppressed the PARP cleavage. Thus, overall, our studies indicate that RANKL can inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis through a TRAF-6-dependent but NF-kappaB-independent mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center