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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2011 Dec;43(12):1708-19. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Fas/FasL-dependent and -independent activation of caspase-8 in doxorubicin-treated human breast cancer MCF-7 cells: ADAM10 down-regulation activates Fas/FasL signaling pathway.

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Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.


The contribution of Fas-mediated death pathway to doxorubicin-induced death of MCF-7 cells is not unambiguously elucidated. Thus, this study was conducted to explore doxorubicin-induced Fas/FasL signaling pathway activation in MCF-7 cells and doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7/Dox) cells. Doxorubicin-induced caspase-8 activation was found to be mediated through Akt/ERK inactivation and FasL-independent Fas pathway in MCF-7 cells, while caspase-8 activation in MCF-7/Dox cells depended exclusively on FasL-stimulated Fas pathway. Suppression of caspase-8 activation restored the viability of doxorubicin-treated MCF-7 cells and MCF-7/Dox cells. Contrary to FasL surface expression exclusively detected in MCF-7/Dox cells, intracellular FasL expression was noted with MCF-7 cells. Promotion of FasL translocation to the cell surface by lysophosphatidic acid evoked a FasL-activated Fas death pathway in MCF-7 cells. Doxorubixin-evoked β-TrCP up-regulation promoted Sp1 degradation, which subsequently suppressed ADAM10 expression in MCF-7 and MCF-7/Dox cells. Doxorubicin-induced down-regulation of ADAM10 reduced FasL shedding, leading to Fas pathway activation in MCF-7/Dox cells. Knock-down of ADAM10 induced death in MCF-7/Dox cells, but marginally reduced the viability of MCF-7 cells. Taken together, our data indicate that Akt/ERK-mediated caspase-8 activation and Fas/FasL-mediated caspase-8 activation mostly elucidate doxorubicin-induced death in MCF-7 cells and MCF-7/Dox cells, respectively. These observations suggest a promising therapeutic modality for overcoming doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer by targeting ADAM10 sheddase activity.

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