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Cancer Cell. 2007 Jul;12(1):66-80.

Reduction of TRAIL-induced Mcl-1 and cIAP2 by c-Myc or sorafenib sensitizes resistant human cancer cells to TRAIL-induced death.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Cell Cycle Regulation, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Cells expressing oncogenic c-Myc are sensitized to TNF superfamily proteins. c-Myc also is an important factor in determining whether a cell is sensitive to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and it is well established that the mitochondrial pathway is essential for apoptosis induced by c-Myc. We investigated whether c-Myc action on the mitochondria is required for TRAIL sensitivity and found that Myc sensitized cells with defective intrinsic signaling to TRAIL. TRAIL induced expression of antiapoptotic Mcl-1 and cIAP2 through activation of NF-kappaB. Both Myc and the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib block NF-kappaB. Combining sorafenib with TRAIL in vivo showed dramatic efficacy in TRAIL-resistant tumor xenografts. We propose the combination of TRAIL with sorafenib holds promise for further development.

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