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Neoplasia. 2010 Apr;12(4):346-56.

The eIF4E/eIF4G interaction inhibitor 4EGI-1 augments TRAIL-mediated apoptosis through c-FLIP Down-regulation and DR5 induction independent of inhibition of cap-dependent protein translation.

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Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The small molecule 4EGI-1 was identified as an inhibitor of cap-dependent translation initiation owing to its disruption of the eIF4E/eIF4G association through binding to eIF4E. 4EGI-1 exhibits growth-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing activity in cancer cells; thus, we were interested in its therapeutic efficacy in human lung cancer cells. 4EGI-1, as a single agent, inhibited the growth and induced apoptosis of human lung cancer cells.When combined with the death ligand tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), enhanced apoptosis-induced activity was observed. As expected, 4EGI-1 inhibited eIF4E/eIF4G interaction and reduced the levels of cyclin D1 and hypoxia-inducing factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), both of which are regulated by a cap-dependent translation mechanism. Moreover, 4EGI-1 induced CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein-dependent DR5 expression and ubiquitin/proteasome- mediated degradation of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). Small interfering RNA-mediated blockade of DR5 induction or enforced expression of c-FLIP abrogated 4EGI-1's ability to enhance TRAIL-induced apoptosis, indicating that both DR5 induction and c-FLIP down-regulation contribute to enhancement of TRAIL-induced apoptosis by 4EGI-1. However, inhibition of eIF4E/eIF4G interaction by knockdown of eIF4E effectively reduced the levels of cyclin D1 and HIF-1alpha but failed to induce DR5 expression, downregulate c-FLIP levels, or augment TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These results collectively suggest that 4EGI-1 augments TRAIL-induced apoptosis through induction of DR5 and down-regulation of c-FLIP, independent of inhibition of cap-dependent protein translation.

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