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Cell Death Differ. 2004 Dec;11(12):1287-98.

Serum bioactive lysophospholipids prevent TRAIL-induced apoptosis via PI3K/Akt-dependent cFLIP expression and Bad phosphorylation.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Kangwon-Do 200-701, Korea.


Serum contains a variety of biomolecules, which play an important role in cell proliferation and survival. We sought to identify the serum factor responsible for mitigating tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis and to investigate its molecular mechanism. TRAIL induced effective apoptosis without serum, whereas bovine serum decreased apoptosis by suppressing cytochrome c release and caspase activation. Indeed, albumin-bound lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) inhibited TRAIL-induced apoptosis by suppressing caspase activation and cytochrome c release. LPA increased phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent Akt activation, cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (cFLIP) expression, and Bad phosphorylation, resulting in inhibition of caspase-8 activation and Bad translocation to mitochondria. The antiapoptotic effect of LPA was abrogated by PI3K inhibitor, transfection with dominant-negative Akt, and specific downregulation of cFLIP expression using siRNA and further increased by siRNA-mediated suppression of Bad expression. Moreover, sera from ovarian cancer patients showed more protective effect against TRAIL-induced apoptosis than those from healthy donors, and this protection was suppressed by PI3K inhibitor. Our results indicate that albumin-bound LPA and S1P prevent TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulation of cFLIP expression and in part by Bad phosphorylation, through the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway.

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