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Cancer Biol Ther. 2008 Dec;7(12):2034-8.

TNFSF10 (TRAIL), a p53 target gene that mediates p53-dependent cell death.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Cell Cycle Regulation, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


We have identified TNFSF10 (TRAIL) as a p53-transcriptional target gene. There are two p53 DNA-binding sites in the human TNFSF10 promoter region, at 346 and 625 bp upstream of the transcription start site. A human p53-expressing adenovirus (Ad-p53) induced TRAIL mRNA and protein expression in HCT116 p53-/- human colon cancer cells. A human TRAIL-promoter reporter assay showed increased luciferase activity with the promoter vector that contains two p53 DNA-binding motifs,following Ad-p53 infection, compared to the control adenovirus infection. Using HCT116 cells, gene silencing of TNFSF10 by siRNA suppressed caspase 3 and 7 activity, even after treatment with the DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agent adriamycin. TRAIL protein expression was elevated in adriamycin-treated breast cancer cells. In vivo, TRAIL expression was induced in mouse natural killer cells at 24 hours after systemic treatment with 5-Fluorouracil. p53-dependent TRAIL induction in natural killer cells after chemotherapy exposure provides a link between the tumor suppressor p53 and the host immune response during cancer therapy as well as a paracrine-mediated cell-extrinsic death response. Our findings provide new mechanistic insights into the signaling of p53-dependent cell death and tumor suppression, including the involvement of the host immune system and natural killer cells in vivo in the anti-tumor efficacy of chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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