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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Apr 20;355(4):993-9. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Induction of apoptosis by tumor suppressor FHIT via death receptor signaling pathway in human lung cancer cells.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


FHIT is a novel tumor suppressor gene located at human chromosome 3p14.2. Restoration of wild-type FHIT in 3p14.2-deficient human lung cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed potential upstream/downstream molecular targets of the FHIT protein and found that FHIT specifically targeted and regulated death receptor (DR) genes in human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Exogenous expression of FHIT by a recombinant adenoviral vector (Ad)-mediated gene transfer upregulated expression of DR genes. Treatment with a recombinant TRAIL protein, a DR-specific ligand, in Ad-FHIT-transduced NSCLC cells considerably enhanced FHIT-induced apoptosis, further demonstrating the involvement of DRs in FHIT-induced apoptosis. Moreover, we also found that FHIT targeted downstream of the DR-mediated signaling pathway. FHIT overexpression disrupted mitochondrial membrane integrity and activated multiple pro-apoptotic proteins in NSCLC cell. These results suggest that FHIT induces apoptosis through a sequential activation of DR-mediated pro-apoptotic signaling pathways in human NSCLC cells.

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